Excel AutoCorrect – A complete Guide with Useful Time Saving Examples

What happens when you type the word ‘Drnik’ instead of ‘Drink’ in Excel?

You would notice that Excel will autocorrect that misspelled word to Drink (as shown below).

Excel Autocorrect in Action

Somehow, Excel knew that this is not the correct spelling and autocorrected it to the right one.

Now, it won’t autocorrect all the misspelled words. Just a few!

For example, try with the words ‘drink’ or ‘dirnk’.

These would not be corrected.

The reason some words are autocorrected and others aren’t is because there is already a fix list of words that are prefilled in Excel to autocorrect.

Adding Your Own Words to Excel Autocorrect?

Wish there were some words that were a part of autocorrect?

For example, let’s say you want to add the word ‘drikn’ to autocorrect so that it corrects it to ‘drink’.

You can use the below steps to add a word to autocorrect:

  1. Click on the File tab.File Tab in Ribbon
  2. Click on Options.Click on Options
  3. In the Options dialog box, select Proofing.Click on Proofing option
  4. Click on the ‘AutoCorrect Options’ button.Click on the Autocorect Options Button
  5. In the Autocorrect dialog box, enter the following:
    • Replace: drikn
    • With: drinkAutocorrect dialog box - replace with word
  6. Click ADD
  7. Click OK.

Now, when you type ‘drikn’ in Excel, it will autocorrect it to ‘drink’.

Before I show you some cool examples to use this, here are a few things you need to know about Autocorrect in Excel:

  • Autocorrect list is case sensitive. This means that you have added the word ‘drikn’ to be replaced by ‘drink’, it would only work with the lower case word. If you enter ‘Drikn’ or ‘DRIKN’, it will not be corrected.
  • This change is saved in Excel and would exist even if you close the workbook and open again. If you no longer want this, you need to go and delete it manually.
  • The change happens only when the exact word is used. For example, if you use ‘drikns’, it will not be autocorrected. For it to work, the word must not have characters just before or after it.
  • When you specify an acutocorrect in Excel, it automatically gets activated in other MS applications such as MS Word or MS PowerPoint.

Autocorrect was created as a way to correct common spelling errors. But you can also use it in some awesome ways to save time.

Related: How to Run Spell Check in Excel.

Below are some useful examples to use Autocorrect (other than correcting a misspelled word).

Example 1: Use Autocorrect to Complete Abbreviations

Imagine you work for a company ‘ABC Technology Corporation Limited’.

Your work involves a lot of data entry in Excel and you have to manually type full company name many times in a day.

No matter how fast you type, this would feel like a waste of time.

Wouldn’t you wish there was a way where you can just enter ABC (or whatever you want), and excel replaces it with the company’s name?

This is where the awesomeness of Autocorrect can help.

You can specify an abbreviation in Autocorrect, and whenever you use that abbreviation, Excel would automatically convert that into the specified text.

For example, you can specify that whenever you type ABC, Excel should automatically replace it with ‘ABC Technology Corporation Limited’.

Something as shown below:

Excel Complete Abbreviations

This happens when you add an autocorrect in Excel where ABC should be corrected to ” (as shown below in the autocorrect dialog box).

Autocorrect Options to Change Abbreviations

What if you want to insert ABC and not the full name?

In case you don’t want the autocorrect to change ABC to the full name, simply hit Control + Z to get back ABC.

While using Control + Z works, it’s best to choose an abbreviation which you’re unlikely to use in your work. This ensures there is no chance of you getting the full name by mistake (when all you wanted was the abbreviation text).

Below are some scenarios where this autocorrect trick can save a lot of time:

  • You can enter file names or folder names quickly (instead of copy-pasting it every time).
  • If you have a list of team members, you can use their initials to enter their names quickly.
A word of caution: Any autocorrect option you specify in Excel also get activates in other MS applications such as MS Word or MS PowerPoint. In such cases, it’s best to use abbreviations that you’re not likely to use anywhere else.

Example 2: Insert Symbols Quickly (such as Degree or Delta)

There are some symbols that are hard to insert/type in Excel as these are not already available on the keyboard (such as the degree symbol or the delta symbol).

You either need to know the keyboard shortcut (which are often long and complicated) or need to use the Insert Symbol dialog box (which is time taking).

If there are some symbols you need to use quite often, you can use the Autocorrect feature to give these symbols a code name or abbreviation.

Now when you have to enter that symbol, you can simply use the code name and it will get autocorrected to that symbol.

Below is an example where I am using the code DEGSYM to get the degree symbol in Excel.

Insert Degree Symbol using Autocorrect

To do this, make the following change in the Excel Autocorrect dialog box:

Inserting Symbol using Autocorrect

Example 3: Write Formulas Faster with Autocorrect

This trick (which I learned from this blog) is a little far-fetched, but if you work with a lot of long formulas, this can save you some time.

Below is a formula that will combine the text of the three cells that are left to the cell in which this formula is used.:

=INDIRECT(ADDRESS(ROW(),COLUMN()-3))&INDIRECT(ADDRESS(ROW(),COLUMN()-2))&INDIRECT(ADDRESS(ROW(),COLUMN()-1))

Now if you often need to create a formula such as this, it’s better to create a simple code for it and use it in Autocorrect.

In this case, I have used the code ‘com3’ in autocorrect to get the formula.

Autocorrect for formulas

Now, you can use the code ‘com3’ to get the entire formula in a few keystrokes (as shown below):

Autocorrect to write formulas faster

Note: As I mentioned, this is something most of you would never have to use, but it’s still a good trick to know (just in case). The above example is a real-life case where I am currently using this in one of my projects to save time.

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  • Sara says:

    Nice! Thank you for the tip.

  • jim says:

    autocorrect isn’t entirely case insensitive though:
    ABotU will be corrected to ABouT

    lower case will correct upper case but not the other way round, which can be a useful way to avoid cases where you DON’T want it to happen

    you can also play amusing tricks on your friends by autocorrecting “I” to “The Dark Lord” for instance – how they’ll laugh!

  • jim says:

    A very impressive trick Sumit

    I use “ii” for “=INDEX(ResCol,MATCH(LookupVal,LookupCol,))” – cos INDEX-MATCH just isn’t as intuitive as VLOOKUP – then I just need to double click each placeholder (eg “LookupVal” and then click its replacement in the spreadsheet
    similarly, “iii” is “=INDEX(ResArea,MATCH(LookupVal,LookupCol,),MATCH(LookupVal,LookupRow,))” – for a two-way lookup
    “tt” is “=IF(N(ref),TIME(ref %,MOD(ref,100),),)” – this converts the stupid time formats that SAP sometimes gives us

    jim

  • H Rowe says:

    Another thing to note is that this same shortcut will now exist in any of your MS programs – so typing “ABC ” in word, will also input that same company name in.

    You could also use characters that are not actually part of the name to be sure that you always really mean for the shortcut to work that way. For instance, I have done this at my workplace, creating a shortcut to our company name using company initials and some periods “S..K” (so that if I ever have cause to type SK, I don’t have Excel, Word or Outlook trying to auto correct).

    • Sumit Bansal says:

      Good Suggestion.. Better to use characters that you are unlikely to use in normal course.. Thanks for sharing!!

  • Michael leng says:

    Aya! so now I know how to save my time for typing something the same. Tks 4 your share.

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