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What to do if you keep making the same typo

Posted on April 23, 2020

 

Do you have a certain word or phrase that you always mistype? It’s easy enough to go back and correct it of course, but it’s still annoying, isn’t it? You’d rather not get that red squiggly line from Microsoft Word to immediately point out to you that you’ve gone and done it again.

Personally, I always mistype ‘September’ as ‘Spetember’. I presume it’s because of the position of the keys on the keyboard. To type ‘September’, you have to use your left hand to hold down Shift and type ‘S’, then take your finger off Shift and type the ‘E’ just above the ‘S’. While the left hand does all this, the right hand may be a bit too eager to get in there with the ‘P’, and does it too soon.

One of our regular writers has a similar blind spot with the word ‘warehouse’, repeatedly typing it as ‘warehosue’. This may be a similar example of it being an awkward word to type at speed, with the ‘O’ and ‘U’ being nearby right-hand keys, and the ‘S’ and ‘E’ keys being adjacent on the left-hand side. The two hands are trying to do their own thing and getting the order wrong.

That writer should be spellchecking their work anyway and has been told as such, but I’ve also suggested something I hope will cut the error out anyway. It’s helped me make ‘Spetember’ a thing of the past, and will hopefully consign ‘warehosue’ to the bin as well.

If you use Word, go to ‘Tools’ and then ‘AutoCorrect’. You should see the below screen.

This shows you a list of all the typos Word will automatically correct for you. Alphabetically, it starts with emoticons as you can see, but after that it addresses common misspellings like ‘seperate’ and ‘vulnerible’, as well as errors that tend to come up when typing at speed, such as ‘ahve’ instead of ‘have’. There are even some grammatical autocorrects in there, such as ‘would of been’ changing to ‘would have been’.

Most people are aware that Word has a built-in autocorrect function, but they might not know that they can add their own personal typos to it. Simply add your mistake to the ‘Replace’ box, put what it should be in the ‘With’ box, and click ‘Add’. You’ll now find that your typo will automatically be corrected from now on.

Likewise, you can delete autocorrects if you find them annoying. For example, the tool corrects ‘dont’ to ‘don’t’, but the word ‘dont’ is French for ‘whose’. You might be writing about French grammar and finding it irritating that the apostrophe keeps being automatically inserted. In that case, all you have to do is find that suggestion on the list, highlight it and click ‘Delete’.

I often think people only use tools like Word and, even more so, Excel to about 10% of their capacity, and might be surprised at how much these applications can actually do. Amendments to AutoCorrect are just one example of how you can tailor your programs to manage your own idiosyncrasies.

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  • Jo Bailey says:

    Can you do the same for Outlook?
    Jo

  • Carl Hopkinson says:

    Hi Jo. Yes, you can. There’s advice on how to do it here.

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