Using AutoCorrect as a Text Expander

By Deborah Savadra

If you’ve got a certain word or phrase, formatted or not, that you type over and over, and it’s driving you crazy, here’s a Microsoft Word AutoCorrect hack you’re going to love.

Hack Your Dictionary to Quickly Format or Add Repetitive Phrases

Creating legal documents often involves some really fiddly typing. Long party names, repetitive phrases, all that Latin … it can all get a little frustrating. But a lot of Word users don’t know they can hack the same dictionary Word uses to automatically correct typos and use it as an automated text expander.

Say, for example, you’re really tired of having to type and italicize the phrase “per annum.”

Type and format the phrase in a blank document the way you normally would, then select it with your mouse or keyboard. (Be careful not to pick up the end-of-paragraph marker. Just back up your selection cursor one character using Shift-Left Arrow. If you can’t see the end of paragraph marker, click the Show/Hide button in the middle of the Home tab — it’s the button that looks like a paragraph symbol.)

Then, go to File > Options > Proofing > AutoCorrect Options. On the AutoCorrect tab, you’ll see “per annum” already populated in the With field. In this instance, you want to select the radio button next to “Formatted text” to pick up the italics…

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