Excel’s shorthand shortcut

Save typing

Excel has a feature that can save you a lot of typing, it’s called AutoCorrect. Yes it’s the same system that fixes your spelling mistakes. Well did you know it has two handy features?

The first is that if you make a frequent spelling or typing mistake (my typing issue is I always type regrads instead of regards) then you can add that particular error and correction to its list so that Excel will fix your unique issue. Not just Excel either. All the MS Office packages use the same list. Fixing it in Excel will also fix it in Word and Outlook.

Adding a new correction is easy, but how you get there depends on your version.

Excel 2003 and earlier

Click the Tools menu, then click Options then click the Spelling tab and click the AutoCorrect Options button.

Excel 2007

Click the round Office button (top left of screen) click the Excel Options button and click Proofing on the left of the dialog and click the AutoCorrect Options button.

Excel 2010

Click the File tab, click Options and click Proofing on the left of the dialog and click the AutoCorrect Options button.

The images below are from Excel 2010.

Type the bad spelling on the left and the correct on the right and click the Add button. Then click OK or Close.

AutoCorrect Add New Correction

AutoCorrect New Error added

The second thing you can use AutoCorrect for is your own personal shorthand coding system.

For example if I frequently type Divisional Sales Report, I could set up an AutoCorrect for ds_r . See image below.  You treat it just like a spelling mistake, but it’s actually a code you determine and enter. The corrected spelling can be more than one word. To use it you type ds_r and then a space or another character.

AutoCorrect Shorthand example

The only thing to keep in mind is that the combination you use for the code needs to be unique and not used in any words or abbreviations you otherwise use. The use of the underscore character can help here.

If you do make a mistake there is a Delete button on the dialog to remove any unwanted corrections.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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