Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Shortcut for AutoCorrect Dialog Box.

Shortcut for AutoCorrect Dialog Box

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 16, 2011)

Christine uses the AutoCorrect feature in Word quite a bit. She would like to set up a shortcut key so that when she presses it, the AutoCorrect dialog box is displayed with the insertion point in the Replace box.

There is no built-in shortcut to display the AutoCorrect dialog box. There are a couple of ways you can approach the problem, however. One is to use the menu shortcuts to display the desired dialog box. This means you can press Alt, T, A to select the desired menu commands. Note that these are individual key presses; you don't press all three at the same time. The Alt key selects the menus, the T key selects the Tools menu, and the A key selects the AutoCorrect Options choice on the Tools menu.

Using the three keystrokes to display the AutoCorrect dialog box may sound like a potential problem in the making. After all, on many dialog boxes, Word "remembers" which tab of the dialog box was previously displayed, and then displays that same tab when the dialog box again is displayed. If your goal is to always display the AutoCorrect tab of the AutoCorrect dialog box (so that you can define AutoCorrect entries), then displaying different tabs by following the keystrokes would be a problem.

This is apparently not a problem with the AutoCorrect dialog box, however. Even though it has multiple tabs, it always displays the AutoCorrect tab whenever the dialog box is displayed, regardless of what was previously displayed in the dialog box. Thus, the three keystrokes will always take you right to the place you need in order to define new AutoCorrect entries.

Another option is to create your own AutoCorrect tool for the toolbar. It isn't a keyboard shortcut, but it places the desired dialog box only a single click away. Follow these steps:

  1. Right-click on any toolbar and choose Customize from the resulting Context menu. Word displays the Customize dialog box.
  2. In the Categories list, choose Tools. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Customize dialog box.

  4. In the Commands list, choose AutoCorrect Options.
  5. Use the mouse to click and drag the AutoCorrect Options command from the list to where you want it on a toolbar.
  6. Click Close to dismiss the Customize dialog box.

Now, when you click the tool, the AutoCorrect dialog box opens and the insertion point is in the Replace box, as desired.

Of course, you can also use the Customize dialog box to define an actual keyboard shortcut. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Right-click on any toolbar and choose Customize from the resulting Context menu. Word displays the Customize dialog box.
  2. Click the Keyboard button at the bottom of the dialog box. Word displays the Customize Keyboard dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  3. Figure 2. The Customize Keyboard dialog box.

  4. In the Categories list, choose Tools.
  5. In the Commands list, choose ToolsAutoCorrect.
  6. Click once in the Press New Shortcut Key box so that the insertion point appears there.
  7. Press a keyboard shortcut you want to use to display the dialog box. (You can tell if the shortcut is in use because when you press it, you can see in the dialog box if the shortcut is used by a different command.)
  8. Click Assign. The shortcut is now assigned to the command.
  9. Close all the open dialog boxes.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (425) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Shortcut for AutoCorrect Dialog Box.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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