I’ve been having a frustrating Excel “moment.” All I want to do is enter (c) into a cell. But when I type the open parenthesis, the letter c and close parenthesis, I keep getting the copyright symbol—that circle with a tiny c inside. How can I stop that?
The problem lies with Excel’s AutoCorrect tool—an Office feature I suggest you become familiar with. Once you discover how it works, you’ll surely use it often, speeding your work and boosting your efficiency. Be aware that it does more than its name implies: It’s a tool that, with a couple of keystrokes, can generate customized technical names, frequently used phrases, titles, paragraphs and a multitude of special symbols. The tool is included in most Office applications (Excel, Word, Outlook, Access, OneNote, Project, Publisher and Visio). So anything you add, delete or change in AutoCorrect will also be active when you’re in any of those other applications.
Let’s get back to solving your problem. In Excel 2003, access AutoCorrect by clicking on Tools, AutoCorrect Options (see screenshot below). Under the Replace text as you type heading, cursor down to (c). When you click on it, it instantly moves under Replace, bringing © along with it.
You can simply delete the shortcut by clicking on Delete, but I would suggest you not eliminate it because you may want it in the future. Instead, consider giving it different shortcut keys. For example, you could keep the c but replace the parentheses with open and closed brackets and click on OK.
In Word 2007, access AutoCorrect by clicking on the Office button and then on Word Options (at the bottom of the screen that opens). If you’re in Excel, the message will be Excel Options. Then click on Proofing, AutoCorrect Options and follow the same steps as above (see screenshot below).
As you can see, the AutoCorrect tools are easily modified. Think of all the long, complex words or phrases or even sentences you frequently type; now, with a few shortcut keys, AutoCorrect can do the job for you.