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How I Learned to Correct Errors Faster

I often tell people in my business writing seminars about Microsoft’s AutoCorrect and AutoText features. Every MS Office user should be using them to write faster.

But I learned just last week that I was using AutoCorrect a slow, Stone Age way. Let me pass on my lesson.

I was showing a group of maintenance managers how to add words to have Microsoft automatically correct them: Click Tools, then AutoCorrect Options. Then type the incorrect version in the Replace box, followed by the correct version in the With box. Then click OK.

Then a manager named Dan told me about a much easier way to add words: Just type a word incorrectly in a document. (That’s easy!) Then when checking the grammar and spelling, click AutoCorrect when Microsoft offers the correct version.

I like Dan’s way much better than mine!

The reason to use AutoCorrect is that once Microsoft knows the word "Trianing" should be "Training," you never need to make the correction again–your software does it for you.

If you have discovered any quick software tricks, pass them on. Even a feature that seems obvious would probably be a gem to someone else. I know Dan’s lesson will save me plenty of time. Thanks, Dan.

Syntax Training

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By Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston has helped thousands of employees and managers improve their business writing skills and confidence through her company, Syntax Training. In her corporate training career of more than 20 years, she has worked with executives, engineers, scientists, sales staff, and many other professionals, helping them get their messages across with clarity and tact.

A gifted teacher, Lynn has led writing classes at more than 100 companies and organizations such as MasterCard, Microsoft, Boeing, Nintendo, REI, AARP, Ledcor, and Kaiser Permanente. Near her home in Seattle, Washington, she has taught managerial communications in the MBA programs of the University of Washington and UW Bothell. She has created a communications course, Business Writing That Builds Relationships, and provides the curriculum at no cost to college instructors.

A recognized expert in business writing etiquette, Lynn has been quoted in "The Wall Street Journal," "The Atlantic," "Vanity Fair," and other media.

Lynn sharpened her business writing skills at the University of Notre Dame, where she earned a master's degree in communication, and at Bradley University, with a bachelor's degree in English.