Proof Reader

9 Time Saving Tips to Improve Your Writing

By Marie McCooey


Do you struggle with your writing?

Do you know there’s a proofreader, named AutoCorrect, in your favorite Microsoft Office program?

It’s similar to a Stage Manager working in the background to ensure the audience experiences a flawless performance.

Time-Saving Tip #1 How to Use AutoCorrect

  • Misspellings

We all make them. The words you know how to spell, but for some reason you type them wrong. You intend to type “believe”, but type “beleive” instead. When you press the spacebar or type a punctuation mark after “beleive” AutoCorrect changes it to “believe”.

  • Common Typos

You’re moving too fast and type “theri” by mistake. Press the spacebar, and AutoCorrect changes it to “their”.

  • Grammatical Errors

You meant to type “could have been” but you’re rushing and you type “could of been”. Type a punctuation mark, for example, a comma, and the phrase changes to “could have been.”

  • Incorrect use of capitalization

You hold the Shift key too long and type “WEdnesday”. Press the spacebar and AutoCorrect by design changes it to “Wednesday”.

How do these corrections magically happen?

AutoCorrect has a built-in list of typical misspellings and symbols.

Let’s view the list in Microsoft Word:

1. Click the File tab. Click File tab 2. Click Options. Options 3. Click Proofing, then AutoCorrect Options… AutoCorrect Options1 PNG Here’s a sampling of built-in AutoCorrect options. AutoCorrect Example 1 Without AutoCorrect working behind the scenes, you could spend endless hours cleaning up your documents.

Did you know you can use AutoCorrect to:

Time-Saving Tip #2. Add Your Own Typos

Do you make typos for uncommon words? You offer creamy chocolate “mousse” as a dessert on your restaurant’s menu and often type “moose” instead. No problem—you can customize AutoCorrect to fix just about any typo you want.

a. Click the File tab –> click Options –> click Proofing  –> AutoCorrect Options…

b. Enter the typo you type often in the Replace field.

c. Enter the correction in the With field.

d. Click Add. AutoCorrect Example 2 Note: If you do need to type the word “moose”, press CTRL + Z to cancel the automatic correction.

Time-Saving Tip #3. Insert Symbols

AutoCorrect contains shortcuts for all kinds of symbols.

Type (c) and the copyright symbol © is inserted.

AutoCorrect Example 3

Time-Saving Tip #4. Catch Worn-Out Phrases

Do you find yourself using the same tired phrase or word over and over in your writing?

Use AutoCorrect to identify an overworked phrase like “best practices” with an attention-getting phrase *****best-practices*****

Give your document a quick scan to catch the attention-grabbing phrase and replace it. AutoCorrect Example 4 Note: If you need to use the phrase “best practices”, press CTRL + Z to cancel the automatic correction.

Time-Saving Tip #5. Create Shortcuts to Make Typing Easier

Do you type complicated words or phrases often?

AutoCorrect can type them for you.

Add an AutoCorrect entry for each phrase you type over and over again.

Create a unique character string abbreviation (not a word) that is easy to remember. Check that the abbreviation is not listed as a spelling error or typo.

For example, you type “adn” as the abbreviation for your company name “American Development Network.” You review the AutoCorrect options and notice “adn” is the spelling correction for “and.”

Create a different abbreviation for your company name or change the “adn” AutoCorrect entry to your company’s name.

a. Type the abbreviation in the Replace field.

b. Type or Copy and Paste your phrase in the With field.

c. Click Add.

AutoCorrect Example 6

Time-Saving Tip #6. Add Formatted Text

Yes, you can replace an AutoCorrect entry or abbreviation with formatted text.

a. Select and copy the formatted text in your document.

b. Open AutoCorrect.

c. Enter your abbreviation in the Replace field, click in the With field and press CTRL + V to paste your formatted phrase.

d. Click the Formatted text option. The replace phrase displays with formatting. AutoCorrect Example 5

Time-Saving Tip #7. Looking for an Easy Way to Create an AutoCorrect Entry?

Add the AutoCorrect Options button to the Quick Access toolbar.

a. Click the Customize Quick Access toolbar arrow.

Quick Access Toolbar w AutoCorrectb. Select More Commands… —> Select All Commands.

Quick Access Toolbar Step 1 d. Scroll to select AutoCorrect Options. Quick Access Toolbar Step 2 e. Click Add. Quick Access Toolbar Step 3 The AutoCorrect Options… button is added to the Quick Access Toolbar. Quick Access Toolbar w AutoCorrect f. Copy a word or phrase, click the AutoCorrect Options button, and the selected text displays in the With field.

g. Enter the abbreviation in the Replace field and click Add.

Your AutoCorrect entry is ready to use.

Time-Saving Tip #8. How Can You Stop AutoCorrect Corrections from Triggering?

Delete An Autocorrect Entry

If you find yourself undoing an AutoCorrect entry with CTRL + Z too many times, you may want to remove the AutoCorrect entry all together.

a. Click the File tab –> click Options –> click Proofing –> AutoCorrect Options…

b. Type the phrase in the Replace box to find the entry to remove, then click Delete.

Turn Off a Built-in AutoCorrect Option

Need to turn off the capitalization of the first letter of table cells?

a. Click the File tab –> click Options –> click Proofing –> AutoCorrect Options…

b. Uncheck the ‘Capitalize the first letter of table cells’ option

Turn Off All Replacements

a. Click the File tab –> click Options –> click Proofing –> AutoCorrect Options…

b. Uncheck the Replace text as you type field.

c. Click OK. Replace Text as You Type

Time-Saving Tip #9. What is The Best Part of AutoCorrect?

Add a word/phrase to AutoCorrect in one of the Microsoft Office applications. it automatically corrects itself in all the Microsoft Office applications that include AutoCorrect.

Create an abbreviation for your organization’s name in Word’s AutoCorrect.

1. Type the abbreviation in a PowerPoint presentation.

2. Press the spacebar.

3. Voila! Your organization’s name displays.

P.S. I’d love to hear how you use AutoCorrect to improve your writing.

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