Monday, June 10, 2013

Creating Custom AutoCorrect Settings

 Jonathon Jou, in a doctoral program at Duke University, drops by to teach us how to create custom AutoCorrect settings. These help us format our manuscripts as we type, catching common errors and creating the correct punctuation when we ask for it.
1. Once you've opened Microsoft word, left click on the "File" button on the top left corner of your window. For those of you with Office 2007, that's the fancy Office Coin in the same place.
2. The resulting menu will contain a column on the left, with "Options" as a choice. Left click on that choice.
3. This brings up (yet another!) menu, of which "Proofing" will be in the left column. Left click on that choice. 

4. As you can see, the "AutoCorrect Options" button is now in plain sight! Left click on the big shiny button.
5. This brings us to the actual window where we can add new AutoCorrect choices. Type "--" into the left side...

6. ....and an em dash into the right. 
7. The "Add" button has become available for clicking! Add your new AutoCorrect text replacement to the table by clicking that button.
8. Hit OK as many times as it takes to get back to your marvelous wordsmithery. 
It's worth noting that you could change anything to anything automatically! Auto-censoring or office pranks are a very real possibility. (Lock your computers when you leave them; I highly recommend not getting pranked.)

Let's say you replaced every word in "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" to an equally wordy pangram, "Pack my red box with five quality jugs." I've color-coded the replacements to make it especially clear!

The possibilities are endless. And probably not productive. But it was fun making this, and I hope it helped!
What AutoCorrect options will you create?


  1. Thank you Jonathan Jou! You have saved me many frustrations with journals and their love of em-dashes.

  2. And some pretty handy ways to avoid having to look up the symbol/codes for degrees and the proper, non-x non-* multiplication symbol. Yay, time-saving!