MS Word converts to real formatting bold and italic signs of plain text documents
You may find in simple text documents, emails, newsgroup messages, etc., words in italics placed between underscores and bold words placed between asterisks (e.g. _this is in italics_, *this is in bold*).
MS Word can convert this automatically to real bold and italic formatting in two ways, as you type, or even afterwards.
Open the Auto Correct properties of Word and configure two, the “AutoFormat as you type” tab, if you type your text right now, and the “AutoFormat” tab, in case you have a text already typed.
Check the relevant bold and italic options, and press OK.
In the “Design” section of Word select the “Auto Format” icon, and enjoy!