I blogged recently about AutoHotKey, but that’s quite a complex program. A quicker way to change text is to use Word’s AutoCorrect. Just follow the rabbit hole that goes File>Options>Proofing and you’ll find a button called ‘AutoCorrect Options…’
It’s preloaded with things like “do’nt” being replace by “don’t”. (It was tricky to write that as Word, of course, changed the typo.) I see it also corrects “drnik driveing”, so it’s quite a moral feature.
I added “teh” and “adn” for “the” and “and” as I often make that error.
But I’ve highlighted an example of one that makes things really easy for writers. I write the Derring-Do Club and the heroines of that are Earnestine, Georgina and Charlotte. Those are long names to type, so I’ve set up an autocorrect to change “e#” to “Earnestine” (see image) with “g#” and “c#” for the other two. It becomes easy to think of the ‘#’ as whoever’s name, and I chose the ‘#’ because my little finger can reach it when touch typing.
It’s also another reason to have your characters start with different letters of the alphabet.
Currently, the sisters are facing a man called Maçon and he has that tricky cedilla under the ‘c’ – no problem, just set up “m#” and no more labouriously inserting that single character from the menu.
In the cosy mystery that’s currently being edited, I have a suspect called “Mrs Entwistle”, but I kept spelling her name “Entwhistle”, six backspaces and then “istle”. Now, it’s just “me#”
Note that they are all in lower case, not upper case. This means it catches both “e#” and “E#”, whereas if it’s in upper case, then you have to type upper case.
Finally, if it corrects something and you don’t want it to have, as I have needed in writing this, then simply do a Control-Z to undo. “Earnestine” becomes “e#” again.
This all comes down to that Big Rule of Computing:
If you are doing anything repetitively, get the computer to do it.
There’s usually a way.