Using autocorrect to its full potential
March 14, 2017
By Kathie M. Rotz, CPTM, Director of Learning
Microsoft has created an autocorrect dictionary full of commonly mistyped words. As we mistype, the tool corrects our words for us. This works great until it corrects words I chose to spell a certain way and the system thinks it’s misspelled. For example: “HSA” is an acronym meaning “Health Savings Account.” When typing emails relating to benefits, the “HSA” acronym is commonly needed. The smart autocorrect dictionary does us a favor and changes HSA to HAS. Instead of constantly changing the text in the email, change the dictionary.
a. In Outlook 2010 and 2013 select File > Options > Mail link on the left > Spelling and Autocorrect button > Autocorrect Options button
b. Find “HSA” in the scrolling list > select Delete button > OK > OK > OK
HSA will no longer autocorrect for you.
NOTE: This function does not replace the need to proofread your email prior to sending, as it has been known to “correct” a word you did not desire to be “corrected,” thus potentially changing the complexity of the meaning of the sentence.
Another use for this autocorrect dictionary is to create your own autocorrect shortcuts if you type the same information often. For example: when I advertise an upcoming training class, I want to remind the learners they need manager permission to attend. And, virtual attendees need to sign up a different way. So, when I type “perm” the following text automatically replaces the “perm” word: “With manager’s permission please sign up to attend this class via LearnLive. Virtual attendees – please sign up via the virtual session.”
This shortcut saves me time retyping the same text often and time thinking of what to type. Now, all I need to remember is my short word. Tip: choose acronyms or words that you do not use often. Otherwise, Outlook will replace your word when you do not really want it to.
NOTE: When you add or edit the dictionary in any Microsoft program, it will carry over to other Microsoft applications. For example: I edited my dictionary in Outlook. While I type in OneNote the same dictionary edits are available.