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

Replacing Characters at the End of a Cell

The Find and Replace capabilities of Excel can come in handy, but they can't accomplish all your replacement needs. One such ...

Discover More

Delivery Address Won't Print on Envelopes

Word includes a feature that allows you to easily create and print envelopes, based on the addresses you insert in your ...

Discover More

Printing Multiple Label Copies when Merging

Need to print more than one copy of mail-merge labels? There are a number of different approaches you can take to getting the ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

MORE WORDTIPS (MENU)

Emoticons in Word

Like to add a smiley or two to your writing? Word makes it easy through creative use of the AutoCorrect feature.

Discover More

Two Keys with the Press of One

Sometimes it could be helpful to have Word substitute two characters for the one that you type, for instance to replace a ...

Discover More

Spelling Errors Resulting from Erroneous Spaces

Spelling errors can result from improperly ordering letters in a word, or from adding spaces where they shouldn't be. This ...

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 for this tip:

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 7 + 8?

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.


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.

Links and Sharing
Share