Get More Control Over Autocorrect in Microsoft Word

Autocorrect isn’t perfect. And some unintentional autocorrect gaffes in text messages can, quite frankly, be hilarious. The autocorrect features in Microsoft Word, however, can be very helpful for managing typos and misspelled words, inserting symbols and other pieces of text.

In this post, we’re going to show you how to get more out of autocorrect by undoing corrections, making autocorrect more attentive to your particular typos, and extending autocorrect to automatically fill in custom blocks of text.

Stop autocorrect on a case-by-case basis

As you type in Microsoft Word, autocorrect will constantly correct typos and misspelled words. But what if its changes aren’t what you meant to type?

It’s very easy to remove autocorrections as you’re typing.

  • If you’ve just a word you’ve typed has just been autocorrected, [Click]  or <Ctrl>-z to remove the autocorrection.
  • If there’s an autocorrection anywhere in a document that you want to remove, [hover] over the the autocorrected word, and [hover] over a blue box that appears underneath. Select , then UNDO AUTOMATIC CORRECTIONS.

Make autocorrect smarter by teaching it the words you’re seeking

If you’ve misspelled a word, you can make sure that autocorrect changes this word the next time you make the same spelling error.

  1. [Right click] on the the misspelled word. (Words not in the dictionary will be underlined in red.)
  2. Choose AUTOCORRECT, which will provide some suggested correct spellings that you can have automatically correct the next time you make the same spelling error.

If the word you want autocorrect to change is not in the options provided, you have to access AUTOCORRECT OPTIONS to manually enter it.

The AUTOCORRECT OPTIONS window lets you specify how Microsoft Word autocorrects specific typos.

  1. Select the FILE tab and click OPTIONS.
  2. Click PROOFING, then AUTOCORRECT OPTIONS.
  3. Make sure the REPLACE TEXT AS YOU TYPE check box is selected on the AUTOCORRECT tab.
  4. In the REPLACE box, type a word or phrase that you often mistype or misspell (ie. “probly” for “probably”).
  5. Type the correct spelling of the word in the WITH box.
  6. Click ADD, then OK.

Use autocorrect to fill in your most common phrases

AUTOCORRECT OPTIONS can be set to automatically turn a few keystrokes into a full phrase that you use often.

Access AUTOCORRECT OPTIONS (found in the PROOFING tab in OPTIONS). Instead of replacing a misspelling with a correct spelling of the word, type a short code and a phrase it will correspond to.

For instance, in the REPLACE box, you can enter “txt1”, and the WITH box with a message that you type often. For instance, a teacher may replace “txt1” with “Be sure to double check your work before submitting it.” When they type “txt1” autocorrect automatically changes it to the longer message, saving them time. But be sure not to include typos in the replacement phrase!

Tip: To streamline this process, highlight the message you type often, then choose FILE, OPTIONS, PROOFING, then AUTOCORRECT. The highlighted message is already in WITH.

Know any other ways to use Microsoft Word autocorrect to be more productive and fewer typos? We’d love to hear about them in the comments!

For more quick and handy tips on using Microsoft Word, see Beezix’s Introductory Word 2011 Quick Reference Card (also available for Mac users), along with other Microsoft Office reference materials.

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One thought on “Get More Control Over Autocorrect in Microsoft Word

  1. A couple of weird isesus with this TidBITS file.There are quite a few entries that just aren’t well conceived. For instance, sometimes a person might accidentally type which as whic by forgetting to type the h. But by making whic a shortcut for which it basically means that everytime you type which the AutoCorrect screws it up and you end up typing whichh. Unfortunately since triggers can’t include white space, there’s no real way to fix mistakes like this so so far I’ve just had to delete a few entries.There’s also a few things that aren’t mistakes per se but just aren’t necessaryily [okay, see, that's another one, I can't type necessarily because it shortcuts necessary] helpful. Like if someone accidentally types ahd they probably meant to type had not and

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