AutoCorrect – The Professional Version of Text Lingo

AutoCorrect – The Professional Version of Text Lingo

Do you find yourself typing the same sentence or phrase repeatedly in different emails or documents? I know I do. Daily I type something along the lines of:

Let me know of a few dates and times that would work for you. I will schedule our meeting using that information.

Most of us type things like this out every time. Some of us create a Word doc to hold items like this, to copy and paste from as needed. Let me show you a better way. You can create a shortcut using a sting of a few characters, which will expand to your full phrase as you type. This is easy to do with a feature you already have within Office: AutoCorrect.

Setting Up an AutoCorrect Entry

The AutoCorrect feature is in each Office program. We will look at using it in Word, but you can use this function in any one of the Office programs.

1) Set up your content chunk in Word.

  1. Make sure it's just the way you want it.

  2. Highlight it.

2) Bring up AutoCorrect in Word.

  1. Click on File at the top of your screen in Word

  2. Look down the left column and click on Options

  3. Click on Proofing

  4. Click on AutoCorrect Options

3) Set up your AutoCorrect entry

  1. You will see your content in the middle of the AutoCorrect box under With:

  2. Your cursor will be flashing in the spot to the left of your content under Replace:

  3. Type in a shortcut for your content. In my example below I have typed in =lmk as my shortcut.

4) Choose Formatted Text or Plain Text

  • The “Formatted” option will insert your content exactly as you currently have it formatted, making this is a good choice when the specific font and style attributes are required.

  • The “Plain” text option allows your content to assume the formatting attributes of the spot where you add it, making this is a good choice if you need this content formatted differently depending on when and where you are using it.

5) Save your AutoCorrect entry

  1. Click Add

  2. Click OK

  3. Make a note of your Shortcut.

6) Try it out

  • Type your shortcut onto a page in Word and keep going. It will expand to your full content string.

Why did I use = to start my shortcut?

This is a way to protect yourself from setting up an AutoCorrect shortcut using a character string that is also an abbreviation for a phrase you might use now and then. For example, if I set up irs as a shortcut for instructors, the next time I write to my accountant about the IRS that term will expand to INSTRUCTORS.

Works across Office

A significant aspect of the AutoCorrect feature is that once you establish it in one of the Microsoft Office programs, it works across all of them. That means you can create shortcuts that will work for emails in Outlook, Word documents, PowerPoint slides, and even Excel spreadsheets.

If you had to pick only one thing to do to work better with Microsoft, this is it.

Make it a habit to create AutoCorrect shortcuts for the sentences, phrases, and words you find yourself using frequently.

This habit will pay dividends and interest in time for years to come.

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