Throughout this chapter I've shown you how to use various Word features to automatically enter text into your document. But have they really been automatic? After all, they've required you to click menu commands, or set dialogue box options. In this video, I'll show you one of my favorite Word tricks. Using autocorrect to automatically enter blocks of text for you. We'll start by opening and checking autocorrect options. Click File, and then click Options. And the Word options dialog box that appears, click Proofing.
And in the Proofing options, click Autocorrect Options. We want to set Autocorrect Options, so make sure the Autocorrect Options button is clicked. And it is. We want Word to automatically replace text as we type. So make sure this option right here is turned on. This feature automatically corrects things that you type incorrectly. And it has dozens of entries already defined. The top few replace text character with symbols. But if you scroll down, you'll see entries to replace common misspellings and typos.
You can also set up entries to replace abbreviations with complete words or phrases. We'll set one up for our name. Start by clicking in the Replace box and then type in JSJ. This feature is not case sensitive but because it's usually easier to type in lower case, that's how I entered it. Note also that JSJ is not a word, so we don't have to worry about replacing a real word with something else. Press Tab to move to the width box. And you want to type in the name that we want to replace it with, which in this case is James Smith-Jones.
When you click Add, the entry is added to the list. Let's click OK to save these changes and we'll OK again here and go back to the document. Now that's one entry with plain text and I'll show you how it works in a moment. But first let's make another entry this time with formatted text. I have a document called Automatic Entry Open. You could find it in the chapter three folder inside the exercise files folder. It's a simple letter on letter head. The first paragraph, which starts with the word thank you, is boiler plate text which appears in almost every letter the tour department writes.
We'll make an entry for that. We'll start by selecting the entire paragraph. I'll double-click out here in the selection bar. Now we'll go back to the auto correct options dialogue box. I'll click File then Options then Proofing then Auto-Correct Options. You'll see here that the text you selected already appears in the width field here. Also, you notice that the formatted text option is selected. That's right here, all we need to do is set up the shortcut text in the replace box.
How about the letters TY for thank you. I'll click in the box. Type in TY. Notice that words scrolls in the list of entries to show ones that start with TY. If this entry already existed we could change the characters we wanted to use. But these characters aren't already used in the entry so we're all set. We'll click Add and I'll click OK and OK again. Now, let's try out these two entries in a new document. I'll press Ctrl+N to create a blank new document.
Normally, you'd insert these in specific places in a document you were writing but we'll just insert them near the top of this one so you can see how it works. At the blinking insertion point, type in JSJ followed by space. When you press the space bar, tab, enter or any punctuation character, Word realizes that you're done typing what it thinks is a word. The word isn't in Word's dictionaries so it looks it up in its list of auto correct entries. It finds a match and it makes what it thinks is a correction. Let's try that again with the other entry.
I'll press Enter a couple times to get to a new paragraph. Now I'll type in TY, and press Enter. Again Word enters that formatted text, and places the characters you typed. Pretty cool huh? Now what if you meant to type TY, and you want that to appear in your document. Word's got you covered. Whenever Word inserts an auto-correct entry, it displays a menu under the left side of the entry. When you point to it, it appears. Click it to display the options. The first option lets you change the text back to what you originally typed, TY in this example.
The second option turns off auto-correct for TY. It basically removes that entry from the auto-correct list. And the third option opens the auto-correct options dialogue box. We don't need to use any of these options now, so I'll click elsewhere. Now suppose the text in this entry needs to change, perhaps explore California now has hundreds of tourists instead of just dozens. We can change the entry here in the document and then update it in auto correct options. First, we need to change the word dozens to hundreds.
So I'll double-click dozens and type in hundreds. Next, we need to select the entire paragraph. So I'll double-click out here in the selection bar. And then we'll go into the auto-correct options dialogue box. So I'll click File > Options > Proofing > Auto-correct options. The text we have selected is already in the box. We'll type in TY and we'll see that already selects the entry we've got.
Now instead of an add button, we've got replace or delete. We want to replace the existing entry with the new one, so I'll click Replace, and then in this confirmation dialogue box I'll click Yes. I'll click OK here, OK here, and we'll try out the new entry. TY Enter, and there it is, hundreds of tours. As you can probably imagine this feature can be used to save tons of time when you're composing documents that include lots of boilerplate text and even if that text needs to change in the future, you can quickly and easily modify entries so they say exactly what you need them to say on a go forward basis.
Now that's what I call automatically entering text.
- Tips for applying styles
- Clearing all the formatting from a document
- Opening recent files
- Changing default saving options
- Using time-saving keyboard shortcuts
- Using Quick Parts
- Enter text quickly with AutoText
- Using AutoCorrect to automatically enter text
- Inserting symbols and special characters
- Rearranging text with the Spike
- Editing the user dictionary
- Setting default document options
- Tips on styles and revealing formatting
- Creating drop caps
- Working with hyperlinks
- Shortcuts for navigating your document
- Wrapping text around images
- Tips for page breaks
- Embedding fonts
- Adding watermarks