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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

MS Word for Authors: Help for fumble fingers

MS Word has a feature named Auto Correct that you might want to get acquainted with.

Perhaps you've noticed, with gratitude, that Word will fix some of your typos the instant you make them.

Perhaps you've noticed that some of those "typos" weren't actually anything that needed changing.

Perhaps you wish Word would fix some of the other mistakes you commonly make.

All this is set up in AutoCorrect and you can tailor it to your needs.

Go to Options and review AutoCorrect. (Use the help to find it if necessary.) AutoCorrect has a few options to check or uncheck. Following that is a long list of characters that Word will automatically replace with other characters. Scroll down this list and see what all Word is up to.

If you really want "nwo" to be left alone and not changed to "now", you can delete it here.

If you are forever typing "Amn" when you mean "Ann" you can add it here.

And you can set up AutoCorrect to change two hyphens (funky) to an en dash (classy). But you have to leave a comment on this blog to get me to reveal the secret.

I love hidden features.


Ann Littlewood said...

Google had a hiccup and dumped my last post. I restored it, but the comments are lost. It's a free service, but I intend to be outraged anyway.

Susanne Alleyn said...

Re-posting as you requested!

AutoCorrect is also the author's best friend for shortcuts if you write, as I do, with lots of words or proper names that include foreign characters. Instead of typing out "Thérèse" using the tedious "Alt + 233" for é and "Alt + 232" for è, or even the shorter "Ctrl + apostrophe, then e", just enter the easier "therese" in the "typo" box and the correct "Thérèse" in the "correct" box, and you can write infinitely and just type "therese". I even use AutoCorrect for a quick shortcut and to avoid capitalizing the names of my most-used characters, and typing "Aristide" or "Brasseur" takes much less time when all I have to type is "aris" or "br". :-)

Susanne Alleyn
The Aristide Ravel Mysteries

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