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By Chris Le Roy
The world today has gone literally gone acronym crazy. Every industry has its own plethora of acronyms to bamboozle the uninitiated. Acronyms are also often a source of great pain for those people who have to create procedure documents for their industry. There is a way to survive this turmoil through the power of Autocorrect and it will definitely save you time.
Autocorrect was originally developed by Microsoft to help those people using Microsoft Office and in particular Microsoft Word overcome typing issues but it has also become the saviour to those working in an acronym world.
I hear you saying it, HOW!
An acronym in essence is short couple of characters that have a special meaning for example in Australia we have a term called the Australian Business Number which has an acronym abn. If you were producing a lot of documents that refer to the term Australian Business Number you would find it takes a little time to right that whole name. In many cases it would be inappropriate to actually use the acronym. What Autocorrect allows you to do is to program into the application the term abn and associate it with the full name Australian Business Number.
What this means is that when you are typing your documents and you need to refer to the term Australian Business Number, you simply type in abn and as you press the space bar Microsoft Word will then convert the acronym abn to Australian Business Number.
So why does it do this?
Like I mentioned before, Autocorrect was really developed to overcome the issue of people mistyping words. Essentially as you type Autocorrect checks to see if what you are typing is correct and if its not it will correct it with the options in the Autocorrect list. Some of the common typing mistakes you might incur would cna instead of can. If you open Microsoft Word and type in cna it will automatically correct it to can.
Autocorrect is actually available in all Microsoft Office Applications which include Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Publisher, Outlook and FrontPage. Now the really cool part about this is that if you setup an Autocorrect entry in say Microsoft PowerPoint, it will also be available in all of the other applications. This means that you are going to save time both in the initial setup but also whilst you are creating these documents.
If you find that when you tried the example I gave to you before that it did not convert the misspelt word to the correct word then most likely the AutoCorrect function has been turned off. To turn it on in Microsoft Word 2003 simply choose the Tools menu and then choose AutoCorrect Options. You will see a checkbox next to the words “Replace Text as you type”. If the checkbox does not have a tick next to it then you need to click once on the check box to activate it. Then finish off the process by pressing the OK button.
There are three autocorrect entries which I think are absolutely essential to know and that is how you can insert the Trade Mark Symbol, Registered Symbol and Copyright Symbol without using the symbol command. All you do is type the following –
(tm) – Creates the Trade Mark Symbol
(c) – Creates the Copyright Symbol
(r) – Creates the Registered Symbol
Autocorrect is certainly one of the tools that I think is really cool but is often misunderstood and not used to its full potential. Using AutoCorrect in this way will save you hours of time when dealing with acronyms. It might take a little time setting up your acronyms but once its completed it will save you countless hours and make you far more efficient and effective in using the Microsoft Office Suite.
Chris Le Roy has a number of tools available to help you in being more effective in using the Microsoft Office suite. He has a range of Microsoft Office cheat sheets to help you learn your Microsoft Office shortcuts more effectively. You can find a Microsoft Word Shortcuts cheat sheet, a Microsoft Excel Shortcuts cheat sheet and Microsoft PowerPoint Shortcuts cheat sheet on his website.