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: Spelling Errors Resulting from Erroneous Spaces.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 2, 2013)
There are times when Sandy is typing and she mistakenly types a space in the middle of a word. For instance, she might type "qui ver", and Word's spelling checker will helpfully mark the incomplete words as wrong. This doesn't happen all the time, however. If Sandy types something like "t o" (when she meant to type "to"), Word doesn't catch this as a spelling error. Sandy wonders if there is a way she can configure spell check to catch this type of error.
The short answer is that you cannot; spell check doesn't consider single letters (such as "t" and "o") to be spelling errors. There is something you can try, however—AutoCorrect. If you analyze your typing and find that you often insert the extra space in two-letter words such as "to," then you can set up an AutoCorrect entry to replace "t o" with "to".
In creating an AutoCorrect entry of this type, you need to be careful of how you put the entries together. You should make sure that you always want to replace the sequence with something else. Of course, using the AutoCorrect entries for a while will disclose any potential replacement problems.
One you will particular want to watch out for is the letter "i" followed by another character. For instance, if you routinely mistype "in" as "i n" (with the space between the two letters), an AutoCorrect entry may seem in order. However, if you type "i n", as soon as you type the space then AutoCorrect capitalizes the "I" and when you type the "n" your new AutoCorrect entry will convert "I n" to "In". The upshot is you will never be able to have an AutoCorrected lowercase "in"; it will always end up as "In."
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (3822) 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: Spelling Errors Resulting from Erroneous Spaces.
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