Latest posts by techwriter (see all)
- BOOK REVIEW: “Design for How People Learn” by Julie Dirksen - July 10, 2017
- 12 Top Characteristics of a Good Technical Writer - July 3, 2017
- What Are the Qualities of a Good Technical Writer? - June 28, 2017
© 2010 Ugur Akinci
When you are creating a MS Word 2010 document there is a hard way to type in special characters (like the Copyright icon) and an easy way.
The hard way is to (a) use the Insert tag or to (b) type in the special Unicode of the character in question (if you remember it).
For example, since I use the Copyright icon frequently I’ve memorized its Unicode: ALT + 0169. While pressing the ALT key, I press in sequence the 0, 1, 6, and 9 keys. When I lift my finger from the ALT key, the © character is created automatically (in Windows).
But it’s obvious to me that one cannot memorize the Unicode of all the interesting characters/icons one wants. I’m not sure if there is a Unicode formula for every icon or shape either.
So what’s the easy way?
The easy way is to use the conversion formulas in Word 2010’s AutoCorrect table.
1) Select File > Options > Proofing and then click the AutoCorrect Options button to display the AutoCorrect Table:
2) Select the Math AutoCorrect tab.
As you can see, when you type the characters in the LEFT column of the table, Word automatically creates the corresponding character on the RIGHT column.
3) Select the Use Math AutoCorrect rules outside of math regions and Replace text as you type check-boxes to have these characters appear in your text document on the go.
Now every time you type in a forward slash followed by the text string in the left column of the table, Word will automatically generate the corresponding character.
Here are some of these characters that I find useful in a text file:
(It’s interesting to note that Word is smart enough to create the “plus-or-minus” sign even if you just type a MINUS after a PLUS.)
NOTE: You can extend this list further by defining your own special characters by inserting your own text string into the Replace field, typing its “corrected” equivalent into the With column and clicking the Add button to add it to the list.