Using AutoText and AutoCorrect Effectively

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 13, 2014)

1

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.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Searching for Text Not Using a Certain Style

Word is very flexible in what it allows you to search for. One thing it can't do, however, is allow you to search for text ...

Discover More

Hyperlinks Not Found

When creating hyperlinks in a document, it is important to remember the difference between absolute and relative referencing. ...

Discover More

Pulling Access Information into Excel

If you have a lot of data stored in Access databases, you may want to get at that information using Excel. There are a few ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More WordTips (menu)

Managing the AutoCorrect List

If you need to delete all the entries in your AutoCorrect list, the easiest way to do so is with a macro. This tip describes ...

Discover More

Superscripted Registered Trademark Symbol

Word, by default, includes an AutoCorrect entry that converts (r) to a registered trademark symbol. The problem is, the ...

Discover More

Removing Confusion When Using AutoCorrect

AutoCorrect is a great help when writing, as it can allow you to create regular blocks of text easily. This can cause ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is seven more than 3?

2014-09-13 12:05:55

MWilson

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.


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.