AutoCorrect is great for larger blocks of text & acronyms in Word

How to use AutoCorrect for more than a word or single character. It can speed up typing of large blocks of text or expanding an acronym into the full name.

Paul G writes:

Autocorrect is fantastic for the numerous standard letters, or specific instructions for various computer actions (downloads, etc).

1. I prepare the fully formatted text (sometimes 3-4 pages with complex formatting, inserted screen shots or tables etc)

2. Highlight the entire text you want in the AutoCorrect entry

3. Open Autocorrect and the highlighted text is in the “Replace with” panel

4. In the “Replace” panel, I enter a specific code (eg dnlds = Download instructions)in the left panel

5. Click OK (or replace if a previous version is being updated)

It is amazing how much time I save not having to recreate these letters, emails, etc. The short code immediately produces the fully formatted result ready to send to the recipient.

AutoCorrect is one long-standing solution in Word to the problem of inserting stock phrases.

For example, have a shortcut ~87 that inserts the phrase ‘Four score and seven’.

Type and, if necessary format, the text e.g. ‘Four score and seven’. The text and go to the AutoCorrect dialog (File | Options | Proofing | AutoCorrect Options)

The selected text is inserted for you.  Add a shortcut in the Replace field or type an existing shortcut to the update it.

Convert initials into full name.

We use the ~ tilde prefix. to expand common acronyms. Typing ~NASA can be set in AutoCorrect to insert “National Aeronautics and Space Administration” while entering NASA remains unchanged.

What AutoCorrects are available?

People who have a lot of AutoCorrect entries usually have an Autocorrect reference document which has all the stock text blocks stored with their shortcuts.

The problem with AutoCorrect is that it’s hidden away from view. It’s fine for a single user or small group but as the number of users increases it gets harder to manage. Even a single user with two computers (desktop and laptop) has to keep the two in sync.

Aside from updating the AutoCorrect list on each copy of Word, all the staff/users need to be updated on changes to the stock phrases and their shortcuts (which they have to remember).

One alternative is a template, though that doesn’t work for emails and only applies as the stock basis for a standard document, not a component to be dropped into an existing or larger document.

A more flexible alternative is AutoText which got folded into the Quick Parts in Word 2007. This lets you see a menu of choices instead of a hidden set of shortcuts. Since AutoText is saved in a template you can update and deploy changes to the text easily.

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