4. Using and Configuring AutoCorrect


Learn how Word anticipates common spelling errors and automatically corrects them.

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Lesson Goal

Learn how to automatically correct errors.

What is AutoCorrect?

AutoCorrect is a Word tool that will correct certain mistakes just after you make them. These can be very common spelling mistakes such as typing recieve instead of receive.

AutoCorrect is not limited to spelling errors. For example, if we use a lowercase letter to start a sentence, AutoCorrect will capitalize the first letter once we’ve finished typing the first word.

Configuring AutoCorrect

We can open the AutoCorrect Options by right clicking a spelling mistake, clicking the arrow to the right of a suggestion and clicking AutoCorrect Options.

Here we can add our own mistakes to the AutoCorrect library and we can also make changes to other AutoCorrect options, such as making excpetions

Using AutoCorrect for shortcuts

We can also use AutoCorrect to quickly type rare symbols. For example, by typing (TM) we can get the ™ symbol.

Check out the AutoCorrect options to see what symbols use which shortcuts.



In the previous lesson, we learned how to use proofing tools to quickly check errors in a document. In this lesson we'll learn how to automatically correct errors.

One major advantage that Microsoft Word has over other word processors is the AutoCorrect tool.

This tool will automatically correct spelling mistakes and typos as we type. For example, we'll start typing a new sentence without capitalizing the first word.

When we hit space, we can see that the first letter in the word the, is automatically capitalized. Next, we'll misspell the word brown, with two n's.

Again, when we hit space, Word assumes that we mean to write the word with one n.

If we delete the space and add the extra n again, Word will not AutoCorrect a second time.

This is useful when Word makes a correction we don't want.

We all have our own common spelling errors but not all of these are captured by AutoCorrect.

Most errors will remain and be underlined.

For example, suppose I often forget to type the first e in the word achieved.

This word has been underlined but it wasn't autocorrected.

We can fix this by right-clicking the word, clicking the arrow next to achieved and selecting add to AutoCorrect.

We can also make more specific edits to the AutoCorrect options. We'll undo the change and right click the word again.

This time, after clicking the arrow next to the suggestion, we'll click AutoCorrect Options.

At the top, we can see a list of options that automatically correct any capitalization errors.

If we click the Exceptions tab, we can make exceptions to this rule.

For example, for the initial caps, we'll enter the word ID.

This lets Word know that the second letter should always be capitalized.

Below, we can manually make our own entries in the AutoCorrect dictionary.

For example, I always forget the second e in the word definitely.

I'll write the incorrect version in the left cell and the correct version in the right cell.

I'll then click add to include it in the AutoCorrect dictionary.

Note that AutoCorrect has more functionality than just correcting mistakes. We can also use it to type symbols that don't appear on our keyboard. If we scroll to the top of the dictionary, we can see that we can wrap the letters c or tm in parenthesis to create the copyright and trademark symbols.

Users in Europe have a key command for the euro symbol, but when using a keyboard from a different country, we can wrap the letter e in parenthesis to tell Word to autocorrect to a euro symbol.

Note that the other tabs in this window offer more shortcuts for typing uncommon, but occasionally useful symbols. In the math AutoCorrect, we can see shortcuts for mathematical notation.

In the Auto Format As You Type tab, we can see shortcuts for inserting fractions, hyperlinks and other formatting.

These tools help make typing in Word more efficient than many other popular word processors. Let's stop the lesson here. In the next lesson, we'll learn how to add comments to our document.

Perfecting Your Document
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