Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. 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: Removing Confusion When Using AutoCorrect.

Removing Confusion When Using AutoCorrect

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 23, 2017)

2

I find the AutoCorrect feature very useful and have added extensive words and phrases to make it easier for me to type my business letters. This has led to some amusing situations. One of my employees was typing a newsletter for his baseball team. He used the word "bat" and "bats" a number of times. My business is batteries, and these are abbreviations that I set up to AutoCorrect to "battery" and "batteries". When he typed out the newsletter, he had no idea where all these words had come from. I have some other words such as "options" that insert about half a page of text. Typing my initials inserts "Yours truly,” three blank lines, and then my full name and title.

To avoid confusion when using AutoCorrect (such as my employee experienced), I now append an asterisk to the end of the AutoCorrect keyword. Thus, I use “bat*” and “bats*” instead of “bat” and “bats.” With no asterisk, I just get the word as it is typed. The asterisk triggers the use of the AutoCorrect feature and inserts the full text.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (12547) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Removing Confusion When Using AutoCorrect.

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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What is six more than 8?

2017-12-30 18:28:42

Nadine Ireland

Thanks for all your great tips, Allen. I place a full stop in front of each of my AutoCorrect abbreviations. For example, ".ys" produces "Yours sincerely" and ".apaman" becomes "Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.)" with the book title formatted in italics. This works well for me because it's easy to type and I almost never use a full stop immediately before a letter. Happy New Year to you and yours!


2017-12-23 16:25:09

Scott Davis

Good advice Allen! I have stumbled onto a similar fix that allows a mnemonic helper. I often use acronyms common to electrical design. Often is use the acronym in a report after defining it one time. So when I type ocpd it becomes OCPD for most uses. However, the first time I want it expanded and defined; as in xocpd = overcurrent protective device (OCPD). The x in front of the mnemonic shorthand reminds me it eXpands the word.
Similarly, when I've created more than one autocorrect for a single topic, I use a lowercase Y or a Z in front of the shortcut. That way it is easy to cycle through the two or three other options without prior memorization of which one is which.
You are a blessing to all the MS Word users worldwide through out the year. Thank you!


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