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AutoCorrect is a Word feature that can help you enter difficult characters and correct typos and other errors automatically as you type. By default this feature is turned on and configured with some useful settings. Let's first take a look at how AutoCorrect works, then I will show you how to configure it and how to add your own AutoCorrect entries. Now, I am at the beginning of a document ,which is at the beginning of the paragraph, and I want to type in the word "The," but I will purposely make two mistakes. I will start with a lower case t and I will spell the word wrong.
Watch what happens when I press the Spacebar. This is Word's AutoCorrect feature in action. It made two corrections. First it realized that the word is at the beginning of a sentence, so it capitalized the t. Second, it knows that "the" is not a word but that it's a common misspelling or typo for the word "the," so it replaces the word. Note that I need to trigger the correction by typing a space or some kind of punctuation. Word won't correct a word unless it thinks you are done typing it.
Now if you notice this change and you don't like it, you can point to changed word and see an AutoCorrect button. If you click that button, you get a number of options. Undo Automatic Corrections will return it back to the way I typed it in. Stop Auto-capitalizing the First letter of Sentences turns off the feature where it will automatically capitalize the first letter of sentences. Stop Automatically Correcting "teh" removes that entry from the AutoCorrect entries and then Control AutoCorrect Options opens the dialog that you can use to set up the options for this feature.
You can fine-tune the way this feature works by setting its options. Choose Word > Preferences and then in the dialog that appears click AutoCorrect and make sure you click the AutoCorrect button. I will go through the options in here one at a time so you can see how they work. At the very-very top there is a checkbox labeled Automatically correct spelling and formatting as you type. This will turn off all of these different features. This dialog actually covers four different features.
We don't want to do that. We will leave that turned on. Show AutoCorrect smart button shows that button when you point to a correction that enables you to change it back to what you typed. If you don't ever want to see that you could turn this option off. These four options are the kinds of general changes that Word will make. Corrects TWo INitial CApitals will replace the two initial capitals. For example if you typed in a capital T, capital HE, it will replace that to be just capital T, lowercase h, lowercase e. Capitalize first letter of sentences tells it to automatically capitalize the beginning of each sentence and we saw that in action.
Capitalize the names of days will automatically capitalize the days of the week when you type them out. Word knows Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and it will make those changes. Capitalize first letter of table cells will automatically capitalize the first letter that you enter into a table cell. If you click the Exceptions button you can use the AutoCorrect Exceptions dialog to make exceptions to these built-in rules. A bunch of them are already pre-programmed. For example, the period at the end of an abbreviation doesn't necessarily signal the end of a sentence.
Common abbreviations are listed here. You can add or remove them as you like. You can do the same thing for initial capitals. I remember how frustrating it used to be the type in the word genie capital G, capital E, lowercase nie. That was the name of an online service a long time ago. Word always corrects it for me. That wasn't a correction. But if I entered it here and added it to the list Word would leave it alone. So I would type it in like this and add it and it's added to the list.
You can see IDs is already added. You can also add other corrections in this pane here. Anything you add in here Word would leave it alone. When you finish making changes in here, you can click OK. Replace text as you type option turns on the Automatic Text Replacement feature that can fix typos and the like. If you don't like this feature at all, this is where you would turn it off. If they're only certain things that you don't want changed, you can remove them from the list. If you scroll down the list, you can see that there are a lot of options in here.
They are all listed in alphabetical order. In a lot of cases, there are misspellings or typos that would automatically be changed to a word that you might want. So it's actually kind of a useful feature to have. But if you do want to delete an entry from here you can select an entry and click Delete and it will remove it. So I have just deleted one of the emoticon icons. If I typed in those characters, it would not turn into little smiley face because I just removed it. You can also add items to this list.
This where you can tap into the true power of Word. For example suppose every time I typed TTOO I really mean Two Trees Olive Oil. I can enter that in these boxes and add it. So for example I'll type in TT00 and I'll type in this box right here, and then when I click Add, it's added to the list. Now when I click OK to go back to my document, when I type in TTOO, press Space, it automatically types in Two Trees Olive Oil.
If you do use this trick, make sure that what you typed isn't something you don't want replaced. For example, I wouldn't type in the word "too" instead of TT00 because every time I type the word "too" it be would be replaced and that's not a good idea. The other thing you should keep in mind here is that this is case sensitive, so capital TTOO isn't the same as lower case ttoo. You can also include formatted text as an AutoCorrect entry. Suppose that every time I typed Two Trees Olive Oil in the document, I want it to be bold, small caps, and green.
I'd start by entering the text in the document and formatting it the way I like. Well it's already entered here, so I will just use this. I have selected it, I will make it green and I am also going to make it small caps, so I need to pull down the Font dialog, turn on Small caps, click OK. With it still selected, I will choose Word > Preferences, click AutoCorrect, make sure the AutoCorrect tab is selected, and you will see that that text is already in here. That's because it was selected.
I want to turn on the Formatted Text option and it will display it exactly the way I have had it formatted. And then I'll type in TT00 here again and I'll click Replace. It's telling me are you sure that you want to replace the existing entry? I say Yes, and now that becomes a new entry. I will click OK. Back in the document. I will type in TT00 and it puts it in with the formatting. Since the Auto Format as You Type feature also replaces text as you type it, let's take a look at that.
I am going to choose Word > Preferences, I will click the AutoCorrect button, and this time I will click Autoformat as You Type. What we are concerned with here is this middle group of options since they actually change text. There are six different options. The first will change "Straight Quotation Marks" and turn them into "smart quotation marks" or what are sometimes known as curly quotes. The second one we will apply is superscript to ordinals. So when you type in the number one followed by st, it will change the st into a superscript so looks a little nicer.
Fractions will turn fractions written out like this with a slash mark into a fraction character. Symbol characters will turn double dashes into either em dashes or en dashes. Bold and Italic will turn them into real bold and italic formatting. So if you type in asterisk a word and then an asterisk, it will turn that into a bold word. If you typed underscore a word and then an underscore, it'll turn that into italic. Internet and network paths with hyperlinks will automatically format any kind of a URL or an e-mail address as a hyperlink.
It will turn blue with an underline and if you click it it'll actually open up a web browser or email program. You could turn these on or off as you like. Personally, I turn off the Internet and Network Paths option because I really don't like that happening in my documents. This one doesn't really bother me because I don't use this kind of thing in my documents and then for the em dashes and the fractions and the ordinals, that's all really up to you. The Straight Quotes option, usually people have it turned on and it really does make you documents look nicer.
When you are done setting options here, just click OK and those changes will take effect. So as you can see Word's AutoCorrect and Auto Format as You Type features will automatically change text as you type it based on rules and settings within Word. You have control over these settings, so you can fine-tune them or simply turn the feature off. Overall, I think AutoCorrect is one of Word's best features. It's like having a typing assistant help make sure my fingers type what I want them to.
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