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

Rounded Corners for a Text Box

Text boxes are great for positioning information the way you want it to appear in your page layout. Fortunately you aren't ...

Discover More

Converting Lists to Text

If you have a numbered list in a document, you might want to convert it to regular, non-dynamic text and not lose the numbers ...

Discover More

Creating a New Document in VBA

When working with documents in a macro, it makes sense that you may need to create a document from time to time. Here's how ...

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

More WordTips (menu)

Backing Up Your AutoCorrect Entries

Develop a lot of AutoCorrect entries and you may start to wonder how you can back them up. You can easily protect all the ...

Discover More

Enforcing a Do-Not-Use Word List

Got a list of words you don't want to appear in your documents? There are a number of ways that you can make sure they don't, ...

Discover More

Make AutoCorrect Pay Attention to Character Case

If you rely on AutoText (as most Word users do), you may have noticed that it doesn't always give the desired results with ...

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. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. 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 nine minus 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.