Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Managing the AutoCorrect List.

Managing the AutoCorrect List

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 9, 2019)

Word's AutoCorrect feature can be either a big time-saver or a royal pain, depending on how you plan to use Word. In reality, the AutoCorrect feature uses a list of words that is shared by all applications in the Office suite, so changes you make to the AutoCorrect list in Word will also affect how you make changes in Excel, PowerPoint, and other Office tools.

So how do you manage the AutoCorrect list? The normal way is to follow these steps:

  1. Display the Word Options dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Word Options. In Word 2010 or a later version display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. Click Proofing at the left side of the screen.
  3. Click the AutoCorrect Options button. Word displays the AutoCorrect dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The AutoCorrect dialog box.

  5. Make any changes desired in the various tabs and controls in the dialog box.
  6. Click OK to close the AutoCorrect dialog box.
  7. Click OK to close the Word Options dialog box.

If you want to do a mass delete of all the AutoCorrect entries in your system, you can do so using a macro such as the following:

Sub DeleteAutoCorrectEntries()
    Dim acEntry As AutoCorrectEntry
    For Each acEntry In AutoCorrect.Entries
        acEntry.Delete
    Next acEntry
End Sub

Note that this macro is no respecter of AutoCorrect entries: it deletes them all. Because of this, you may want to back up your AutoCorrect entries, as described next.

When you make changes to the AutoCorrect list, those changes are saved in files that have the ACL filename extension. Some Word users simply refer to these as "ACL files." (Wonder where they got that name?) The exact filename and location of the files can vary depending on your particular operating system setup and the version of Word/Office you are using. In general, though, if you want to back up your AutoCorrect entries, just look for files with this extension. If you want to move your AutoCorrect entries from one system to another, just copy the ACL file. (Make sure you only do this with like versions of Word. Not paying attention to the program version can have unintended consequences.) Specific instructions can be found in Microsoft Support; just search for "ACL AutoCorrect."

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the WordTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11595) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Managing the AutoCorrect List.

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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