In a Writing Tune-Up I led last week, a manager exclaimed that a tip I had just provided was worth the price of the entire workshop.
Here is the tip, and you don't have to pay me for it:
If Microsoft Office is automatically correcting something for you–and you don't want it corrected–you can stop the autocorrect feature for that correction.
Example: The manager types HSA, the abbreviation for "Health Savings Account." Microsoft automatically corrects HSA to the word HAS. That auto-correction drives the manager and her team crazy. They continually undo the Microsoft correction, and sometimes their corrections get undone, although they don't know how this is happening. They are frustrated about wasting valuable work time undoing Microsoft's correction.
Update on March 4: Please see the fourth comment below, the one from Marc. He shares a much faster, more efficient way of eliminating a term like "hsa" from AutoCorrect.
Here is how to eliminate a term from the AutoCorrect feature:
In Word 2003, click Tools, then AutoCorrect Options.
In Word 2007, click Office Button, then Word Options, then Proofing Tools, then AutoCorrect Options. (If you know a faster way, please share it.)
Then, for both Word 2003 and 2007, under the AutoCorrect tab, you will see a box with two columns filled with entries. The left column is labeled "Replace"; the right column is labeled "With."
In the "Replace" column, find the entry you do not want corrected, for example, hsa, and click on it to highlight it. Then click Delete. That entry will be deleted and will never waste your time again!
Use the same approach (in the one-line box without entries) if you want to add entries to be automatically corrected. For example, I have added pubic to the "Replace" column, with public in the "With" column. Just click Add to confirm your entry.
Do you have any time-saving tips for writers who use Microsoft Office? Please share them here or provide a link to your tips.