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Using AutoText and AutoCorrect Effectively

Once you understand the difference between the way that AutoText and AutoCorrect work, you can use these tools to help you become more productive in your typing. It is helpful to keep in mind both the capabilities of the tools, along with what you want to accomplish. Doing so will help you pick the right tool for the desired outcome.

For instance, let's say that you work for the US Government, which is renowned for long agency and program names. You don't want to type in all these names, but you want Word to do it for you. Your first thought is to use AutoText. Let's say, however, that you have four different programs, all beginning with the text "Native American Housing." If you set up AutoText entries for each of these four program names, then AutoComplete won't kick into play until you get past the non-unique portion of the names. Thus, you end up doing more typing than you want to do.

In this situation it makes more sense to come up with some short word that you can easily remember. For instance, suppose one of the program names is "Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act." You could use a name such as "NAHA1" and then set up an AutoCorrect entry that would automatically expand this name to the full program name as you type. In other words, in this particular instance, AutoCorrect helps you to be more productive than AutoText would.

As a side note, you wouldn't want to use the formal acronym for the program as your shortened AutoCorrect word. Why? Because you might actually want to use the acronym (NAHASDA) in your documents, rather than having the acronym automatically expanded by AutoCorrect. The solution is to use the unique short name that indicates you do want the fuller (and much longer) program name used.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1621) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

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Comments for this tip:

MWilson    13 Sep 2014, 12:05
To avoid the problem of Autocorrect always expanding my acronyms, when I create the autocorrect item I want "expanded" I always add a character like " - " to the end of my entry.

So when I want "San Francisco" I type "sf-"

But when I type the initials "sf" to refer to "square feet", as in 50,000 sf I am left with the "sf" as I expect.
 
 

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