Automatically Correct Typos in MS Word

by Michael L. Cope
The Internet Writing Journal, December 2005
We all make spelling errors and typos while writing. Microsoft Word does a great job of automatically correcting the most common of these mistakes. However, we all have our own set of words that we can never spell or type correctly. Generally, these words are picked up by the spell checker to be corrected later. Why keep fixing the same mistakes over and over? The following instructions will take you through the process of adding your common mistakes to the AutoCorrect function. There are two ways to do this.

Option One

The easiest way is to run the spell checker against a document and add the words as you fix them.

1. Press the F7 function key to run the spell checker.

2. When the spell checker comes to a commonly misspelled or mistyped word click on the AutoCorrect button.

Note: The replacement word is selected from the Suggestions window so be sure you have the word you want selected.

Option Two

This is a more detailed method that gives you more control over what is added to the AutoCorrect list. These are also the same steps you would take to correct or delete and entry in the AutoCorrect word list.

1. Click on the Format menu, then click on AutoFormat, now click the Options button.

2. Select the Autocorrect tab at the top of the new window.

3. Optional: Next to Correct TWo INitial Capitals, click the Exceptions button.

CDs is the only word not on the list I have found that needs two initial capital letters. Enter the word, click the Add button, and then click the OK button.

4. Now go down to Replace text as you type.

5. In the Replace box type the incorrect word.

6. In the box to the right type the correct word.

NOTE: Carefully consider the words you put in here because Word will not let you type them any other way (typing the following list of examples was a battle).

alright = all right (regional acceptance varies)
irregardless = regardless
ocassionaly, ocasionally, occassionaly = occasionally
personel = personnel
reoccurring, reocurring = recurring
reoccur, reocur = recur

7. Click the OK button to accept the changes and close the window.

8. Now click the CANCEL button to close the autoformat window. (Clicking OK autoformats the open document. You can hit the undo arrow if you hit OK by accident.)


**Michael L. Cope has worked in the IT industry for over ten years, where he frequently writes documentation and technical manuals. He has been writing fiction since he first learned how to write. When he learned how to type, his writing improved and his penmanship stopped being an excuse to keep his stories private. Most of his fiction is humorous speculative fiction. He is a voracious reader of science, technology and history which fuels his desire to primarily write science fiction. Michael lives in Southern California where the great weather is usually a hindrance to writing. Michael most recently published an article in the November issue of The IWJ about squeezing more work out of Microsoft Word.



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