Setting Custom Auto-Correct to Improve Writing Speed

auto-correctAll writers have some words or letters that they regularly type incorrectly.  Some of them are so common that Word and other popular word-processing programs automatically fix them.  For example, if I type “teh” and hit space, Word will instantly change it to the for me.  There are hundreds of common mistakes which will be automatically corrected for me, ranging from common spelling errors to words people commonly add spaces or forget to add them.  This auto-correct feature can save writers a lot of time, which would otherwise be wasted hitting back-space or going back to run the spell check.

Many writers, however, have certain mistakes which are often made, but not corrected automatically because they aren’t considered common mistakes by the word-processing programs.  It is possible, however, to add these personalized mistakes to your auto-correct list so you can write without having to stop and fix your common mistakes.  In addition, if you have specific phrases you happen to use on a regular basis, you can set up a quick set of letters that translate into that phrase automatically.  It is quick and easy to set up your auto-correct options, and once you’ve got it saved, you’ll never have to worry about making that mistake again.

Here are the instructions on how to adjust your auto-correct settings in Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010, which are two of the most common word processing programs.  Other programs will likely use similar options for making changes, so play around with it and see what you find.  If you run into trouble, please contact me and I can help you figure it out.

Word 2010

  1. Click File
  2. Click Options
  3. Click Proofing
  4. Click AutoCorrect Options
  5. On the AutoCorrect tab, find the Replace box.  In this box, type the word in the way you normally spell it (incorrectly).  For example, you could type in ‘teh’.
  6. In the With box, type it correctly, ‘the’.
  7. Make sure the ‘replace text as you type’ check box is selected.
  8. Click Add
  9. Click OK

Word 2007

  1. Click the Microsoft Office Button
  2. Click the Word Options button
  3. Choose the Proofing option
  4. Click AutoCorrect Options
  5. On the AutoCorrect tab, find the Replace box.  In this box, type the word in the way you normally spell it (incorrectly).  For example, you could type in ‘teh’.
  6. In the With box, type it correctly, ‘the’.
  7. Click OK
  8. Click OK

That is all there is to it.  You may notice that there are many different options available in the auto-correct boxes.  Don’t be afraid to look around and see if there is anything you’d like to change.  Optimizing your word processing software to work the way you want it to is a great way to increase the speed at which you are able to write.

If you have found any tips or tricks on optimizing your word processing software, please share them in the comments below!

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  1. says

    Excellent, Michael, thank you! I just set mine on Word 10 and it works perfectly! Now, do you have any tips for women who insist on trying to type with long fingernails??? I don’t think Word has a “fix” for this one. BTW, about your list of writing sites, I regularly use Elance, but I find that is by far superior to any other freelance job board. Great system, excellent clients with well-paying projects. I’d like to hear your opinion, too. Demand makes my teeth hurt, as does eHow.


    • says

      LOL. I don’t have any advice for those with long finger nails. Sorry!

      I’ve actually never used, or even heard of, I’ll have to check it out when I have some time and write something up on it. I always love hearing about new ways to find clients, thanks!!!


  2. Sanjay Sett says

    @Margaret: I’d suggest that you remove the keytops, especially if you are a touch-typist and insist on typing with long long nails.

    @Michael: Great tips bro. I use Word 2003 and have these rules configured.

    Another tip, though not related to `MS Word.’ Strike the `shift’ key five times in succession to check it out.

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