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.


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