Automatic Italics of Newspaper Names

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated November 29, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


1

Robert has to enter a lot of newspaper names in his documents, and his office's house style says these names must be italicized. He wonders if there is a way, perhaps using spell checker, that these can be automatically italicized when he types them.

The easiest way to handle this type of task is to rely on Word's AutoCorrect feature. You can use it to replace regular text with fully formatted text, such as the name of your newspapers. Here's how to set it up:

  1. Type a newspaper name (such as The New York Times) and format it as you would like it formatted.
  2. Select the entire, formatted name of the newspaper.
  3. 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.)
  4. At the left side of the dialog box click Proofing.
  5. Click the AutoCorrect Options button. Word displays the AutoCorrect tab of the AutoCorrect dialog box. The newspaper name you selected in step 2 should appear in the With box. (See Figure 1.)
  6. Figure 1. The AutoCorrect tab of the AutoCorrect dialog box.

  7. Make sure the Formatted Text radio button (above the With box) is selected.
  8. In the Replace box, enter a mnemonic you want to use for the newspaper (such as the mnemonic NYT for The New York Times).
  9. Click on Add. Your new AutoCorrect definition is added to those already maintained by Word.
  10. Click on OK to close the AutoCorrect dialog box.

Now, whenever you type the mnemonic characters you used in step 7 (such as NYT) and press a space, a punctuation mark, or a tab, the characters are replaced with the full, formatted name of the newspaper. If you think you might use the abbreviation NYT in other places in your document, you can use a modified version of the abbreviation in step 7, such as .NYT (with the leading period) or ;NYT (with the leading semicolon). Regardless of what you settle on as your mnemonic, that is what you will need to use in your typing in order to trigger the AutoCorrect replacement.

The only drawback to this is that you'll need to repeat these steps for each newspaper name you need to deal with. For that reason, you may only want to set up an AutoCorrect entry for those newspaper names you use more than a few times in your documents.

Using AutoCorrect is a great approach if you want the newspaper names to be inserted and formatted as you are typing. If your document is already created, however, and you need to format all the newspaper names, the best approach is to use Find and Replace to do the formatting. Simply search for the newspaper name (such as The New York Times) and replace it with the same name, but with either a character format applied (like italic) or, better still, a character style applied.

If you need to process many documents, you can record a macro that does the newspaper name replacement for you and then run the recorded macro on each document.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13691) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365.

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 1 + 1?

2019-10-26 20:49:27

Sheila

I would just like to change to Italic without affecting the size or bold features. Is there a way to modify the Formatted text choice?


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