I don’t type my name anymore. Neither do I type the name of this blog, the titles I mention most, or even my address. And I do it all with the functions built into Word:
- AutoText, and even
Over the next few weeks, we’ll talk about how an editor can customize these tools instead of just turning them off because they naturally insert mistakes. We’ll also talk about backing up your customizations.
To use any of these functions, you must select the option at the top of the AutoCorrect dialogue box that says Automatically correct spelling and formatting as you type. Then you can customize what Word will actually do.
Let’s start with the first tab in the AutoCorrect settings: AutoCorrect.
Open Word’s Preferences (or Options, on a Windows computer) to access AutoCorrect settings.
Word > Preferences > AutoCorrect
File > Options > Proofing > AutoCorrect Options
Word does this feature better than your mobile device does. And it comes with a few hundred entries to fix common typos such as correcting two initial capital letters on a word (such as COoperative) and turning aboutthe into two words. It also has entries that change keyed sequences into proper symbol (such as turning (C) into ©).
Editors can add their own entries that will turn aq into “AU: Change ok?” or turn ce into Copyediting Newsletter, for example. Yes, you can even have the text corrected to italics, or any other formatting you like. To enact formatting, just key the text into a Word document and format it exactly as you like. Then select the text and go into the AutoCorrect entries. There you will find your formatted text already in the With: field. Just click the Formatted text option below the With field, then enter the shortcut you want into the Replace: field.
Close the preferences to make the new setting stick.
AutoCorrect Options to Turn Off
If you work with chemistry topics or on certain bands, you may want to turn off the option to Correct TWO INitial CApitals.
Most editors will want to turn off the options to Capitalize first letter of sentences since Word will try to capitalize every bullet item if that is on. They’ll also want to turn off Capitalize first letter of table cells unless that is house style.
Rejecting an AutoCorrection
If something you key gets autocorrected into something you don’t want, just click undo (or press ctrl + Z — cmd + Z if you’re on a Mac). If the number of times you have to do this gets annoying, go into the AutoCorrect entries and delete or modify the entry for that correction.
To delete an entry, find it in the list in the bottom half of the AuroCorrect dialogue box. If scrolling is too much, you can jump to the entry by typing the shortcut it is assigned into the Replace: field. Click on the entry to select it, then click the Delete button at the bottom.