AutoCorrecting Non-Typed Text

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated May 2, 2020)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365

As Vincent types his text, AutoCorrect is often very helpful. He often, though, works with text that he did not type, such as a document he receives from someone else or text that is pasted into one of his documents. Vincent wonders how he can AutoCorrect such non-typed text, and particularly how he can do it such that he can undo any individual AutoCorrections that he doesn't want applied, as he can when typing.

The short answer is no, you cannot run AutoCorrect on non-typed text as if you had typed the text. The reason is that Word uses your typing as a "trigger" for what it AutoCorrects. For instance, AutoCorrect entries are triggered when you type whatever is in the Replace field of the entry, followed by some sort of white space (pressing the Space Bar or the Tab key) or a punctuation character. When you are dealing with non-typed text, the trigger never occurs.

That being said, I should point out that some people confuse AutoCorrect with AutoFormat. This is easy to do; the various ways that each "auto feature" affects your document are, after all, accessed through the AutoCorrect dialog box. There is one important difference, though, between the two—with AutoFormat, you can manually run it on a text selection or on an entire document. It does, however, require adding a tool to your Quick Access Toolbar, as described in this tip:

The other thing to remember is that AutoCorrect can, if configured to do so, include suggestions from Word's spell checker. The spell checker is a separate tool, and you can always use it independently of AutoCorrect, even on text you didn't type. These tips can help in this area:

The first one explains how to use the spell checker with a text selection and the second explains how to initiate a spell check for an entire 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 (13756) 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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