Microsoft Office provides features which help to reduce typing errors whilst you work. AutoCorrect is one of those features and is set up by default to correct common spelling and punctuation errors. Errors including irregular capitalisation, or commonly misspelt words are corrected as you type. There are hundreds of pre-configured corrections already set up for you. As a little test, type acheive (wrong spelling) and you will see it automatically corrects to achieve. AutoCorrect is also responsible for converting some symbols automatically. For example type (c) into a document and it will automatically change to the copyright symbol.
The reason I love AutoCorrect is that I can take advantage of this feature by adding my own entries into the AutoCorrect list. In addition to correcting common spelling mistakes, I take this a step further and use it in a way which is “outside the box”. How many times a day do you type your own name, business name, website address or even colleagues names? This is where I let AutoCorrect do the work for me! To achieve this I have allocated those common words or phrases with an abbreviation. I then set these up so that whenever I type the abbreviation, AutoCorrect changes it to the full name or phrase I have specified. No more typing my own name!
AutoCorrect is available across all Microsoft Office programs however only a few of them give you access to the interface to make changes. In this example, I am going to use Microsoft Word to create my own Autocorrect entries.
Create an AutoCorrect entry
- Open Microsoft Word and make sure a document is displayed
- Select the File tab and choose Options
- The Word Options dialog box will appear:
- Select the Proofing option from the categories on the left-hand panel
- Now click the AutoCorrect Options button
- The AutoCorrect dialog box will appear:
- Place your cursor in the Replace text box and type your initials
Tip: Be aware if your initials or acronym spell an actual word, you will need to adjust the acronym you are going to use. For this I normally just add a number to the end of the acronym E.g. If my initials were “AT“, then I would change the acronym to “AT1“.
- Place your cursor in the With text box and type your name in full including correct uppercase/lowercase usage and spaces
- Click the Add button to add this entry to the list
- If you wish to add additional entries such as your business or department name, repeat the process
- Click OK
- Now type your initials into any space on the page and press the space bar OR Enter and your initials will now change to your full name
- Go and test this now in a new email message in Microsoft Outlook, a new presentation in PowerPoint or even a spreadsheet in Excel
I hope you’ve enjoyed this amazingly efficient way of using AutoCorrect. If you are wanting the same type of time-saving abilities but when working with larger blocks of text, please check out my post: Quick Parts – the quickest way to insert reusable information in Word.