AutoCorrect: The proofreader over your shoulder in Excel

Applies to
Microsoft Excel 2002
Microsoft Office Excel 2003

What is AutoCorrect and why should I use it?

You probably don't have time to check for typos—but you want a flawless worksheet all the same. The solution is AutoCorrect: a built-in proofreader that automatically corrects common typos, misspellings, grammatical errors, and incorrect capitalization. Let's take a quick look at some of the things AutoCorrect can fix.

If you type AutoCorrect replaces it with
teh the
recieve receive
might of been might have been
THis This
sTEP oNE Step One

But what if you make uncommon typos? Suppose you type the company name "Northwind" as "Nothrwind" on a regular basis. No problem—you can easily customize AutoCorrect to fix just about any typo you want.

On the other hand, why make a typo in the first place? You don't need to bother typing complicated words or phrases because AutoCorrect can enter them for you.

If you type AutoCorrect can replace it with
afd Aperture Film Division
chv Chartreuse verte

You can also enter common symbols easily by creating a key word in the Replace text as you type box that is replaced by the symbol whenever you type it.

If you type AutoCorrect can replace it with
(r) ®
yensign &#yen;

How do I use AutoCorrect?

Set the AutoCorrect options

  1. On the Tools menu, click AutoCorrect Options.
  2. On the AutoCorrect tab, decide what types of corrections you want to make. You can also specify exceptions to the selections you make by clicking the Exceptions button.

See AutoCorrect in action

In your worksheet, enter a typo plus a space or other punctuation. Then watch AutoCorrect make the correction.

Type this Then press the Spacebar And AutoCorrect replaces your text with
ctaegory| ctaegory | category |

AutoCorrect Options button

The AutoCorrect Options button Button image appears in a Microsoft Excel worksheet cell when you type a hyperlink. The AutoCorrect Options button first appears as a small, blue box when you rest the mouse pointer near the hyperlink, and changes to a button icon when you point to it. You can undo a hyperlink or turn AutoCorrect options on or off by clicking the button and making a selection.

 Note   When the small, blue box is visible, you can also press ALT+SHIFT+F10 to display the "smart tag" button menu.

How do I customize AutoCorrect?

Automatically create an AutoCorrect entry

You can let the spelling checker track and create AutoCorrect entries for you. Here's how:

  1. On the Tools menu, click Spelling.
  2. When the spelling checker finds a word you often misspell, enter the correct spelling, and then click AutoCorrect.

 Note   Excel doesn't automatically format cells or text. To format cells and text, right-click the cell you want to change, click Format Cells, and then make your choices from the available tabs and options.

Manually create an AutoCorrect entry

  1. On the Tools menu, click AutoCorrect Options.
  2. In the Replace box , type the word you often mistype or misspell.
  3. In the With box , type the correct spelling of the word, and then click Add.

Create an AutoCorrect entry for a typing shortcut

  1. Copy the text you want to reuse, and then click AutoCorrect Options on the Tools menu.
  2. In the Replace box , type a unique sequence of characters for the text. (Make sure you don't type a real word—for example, use afd instead of aperture.)
  3. Click in the With box, press CTRL+V to paste the copied text, and then click Add.

Stop AutoCorrect from capitalizing text following specific abbreviations

Suppose you create your own abbreviations, such as "info." or "spec." If you turn on the Capitalize first letter of sentence option, AutoCorrect assumes that the period after an abbreviation indicates the end of a sentence, and AutoCorrect then capitalizes the following word. For example, AutoCorrect may produce a sentence like this: "Please see the info. In the file." To prevent AutoCorrect from capitalizing text following a specific abbreviation:

  1. Click AutoCorrect Options on the Tools menu.
  2. Click Exceptions and then click the First Letter tab.
  3. Type an abbreviation in the Don't capitalize after box, and then click Add.

 Note   The Capitalize first letter of sentence option works only after a period and not at the beginning of every cell.

Make sure AutoCorrect doesn't correct specific TWo INitial CApitals

Suppose you want to use two initial capitals for certain terms, such as "PCsystem" or "BSmith & CJones." To prevent AutoCorrect from changing the second uppercase letter to a lowercase letter:

  1. Click AutoCorrect Options on the Tools menu.
  2. Click Exceptions and then click the INitial CAps tab.
  3. Type a word with two initial capital letters in the Don't correct box, and then click Add.

Help! How do you turn off AutoCorrect?

On the Tools menu, click AutoCorrect Options, and then turn off the AutoCorrect options you don't want to use. For example, if you don't want AutoCorrect to capitalize the first word in list items or table cells, clear the Capitalize first letter of sentence check box. To stop correcting specific typos or replacing specific strings, select the item in the Replace text as you type box, and then click Delete.

 
 
Applies to:
Excel 2003