I Stand Corrected


Q: Sometimes when I misspell a word, Word automatically corrects the spelling for me, but other times it doesn’t. Does this indicate a problem with my spell checker settings?


A: Office 2003, 2007 and 2010 include a feature called AutoCorrect that is useful in two ways, as follows: As you misspell words in Word, you can right-click on them to display an assortment of correction options. For example, when you right-click on the misspelled word “Acounting,” Word will display several correction options, as shown below.


You could correct the spelling by selecting the properly spelled word at the top of the list. However, if you make the same mistake frequently, you should consider selecting the properly spelled word under AutoCorrect instead. Thereafter, Word will automatically correct the misspelled word when you make the same error. The automatic corrections that you create in Word will also work in Excel, but you must first close and relaunch Excel.


By default, the AutoCorrect tool includes many common misspelling errors. For example, if you accidently type the misspelled word “prolbem,” Office will automatically correct the spelling. (Because Office automatically corrects common misspellings, but not all misspellings, it may appear to you that the automatic spell checker only works some of the time.)


Another way to use AutoCorrect is to create AutoCorrect text for lengthy phrases that you type frequently. For example, let’s assume that you regularly type the phrase “American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.” You could save time by creating an AutoCorrect text shortcut in which you type AICPA, and Word fills in the complete phrase for you. To create an AutoCorrect shortcut, display the AutoCorrect dialog box as follows:


a. In Word 2003, from the main menu select Tools, AutoCorrect Options.

b. In Word 2007, from the Office Button select Word Options, Proofing, AutoCorrect Options.

c. In Word 2010, from the File tab, select Options, Proofing, AutoCorrect Options.



Next, in the Replace: box type in an abbreviation that you will remember. In the With: box type in the complete phrase that the abbreviation represents, then click Add and OK. Thereafter, when you enter the abbreviation in Word, Excel or PowerPoint, the complete phrase will appear. (To delete an AutoCorrect entry, repeat the above steps and click the Delete button, instead of the Add button.)


Hint: If Word inserts the AutoCorrect phrase when you really want the abbreviation, press Ctrl+Z to undo AutoCorrect.


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