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Weekly Computer Tip # 127
18 September 2005

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Adding AutoCorrect Entries (Microsoft Office)

Tomorrow (19 September) is the birthday of the first smiley, sometimes referred to as an "ASCII emoticon". Twenty three years ago Scott Fahlman proposed the use of the character sequence :-) to flag jokes in email messages. Nowadays :-) and :-( are even part of the built-in AutoCorrect entries in MS Word, automatically converting the characters to a "normal" smiley. (If that's not what you want, you can click Undo on the Standard toolbar or BACKSPACE immediately after the program makes the automatic change. :-Y Aside comment ... see
http://www.computeruser.com/resources/dictionary/emoticons.html for a list of commonly used emoticons.)

AutoCorrect has three main options for correcting capitalization errors, typos, and spelling errors. To save time and keystrokes, you can easily add your own AutoCorrect entries for words you typically mistype, create abbreviations for words you use a lot or add words that contain funny characters. For example, I always mistyped my own name (don't ask) but now that I've added it as an AutoCorrect entry when I type Kraen plus a space, AutoCorrect replaces it with "Karen". Or having just spent weeks developing a course on the subject of Records Management I can just type RM to insert the words "Records Management". Or if I type Zoe it puts the funny characters on top of the "e" and turns it into "Zoë".

Here's how:

  1. Type and select the word you want to add as an AutoCorrect entry.
  2. From the Tools menu, select AutoCorrect (Office 2000) or AutoCorrect Options (Office 2003). Notice the selected word is automatically entered on the right hand side of the dialog box.
  3. Click in the Replace box to the left of the correct entry and (mis)type the word. (For instance, Kraen, RM or Zoe to get the result described above.)
  4. Make sure the "Replace text as you type" check box is ticked.
  5. Click OK.

Until next week.

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September 2005