Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Using AutoCorrect.

Using AutoCorrect

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 22, 2017)

Excel includes a handy tool that is included in most Office applications: AutoCorrect. The purpose of AutoCorrect is to automatically change things you type, as you type them. This may sound strange, but it can really be a benefit. For instance, if you know you always misspell a certain word, you can force Excel to recognize that word and replace it with the proper one. Similarly, you can define short codes that can be automatically replaced with long words or phrases.

To add information to AutoCorrect you use the AutoCorrect dialog box. How you display it depends on the version of Excel you are using:

  • Excel 97 and Excel 2000: Choose AutoCorrect from the Tools menu.
  • Excel 2002 and Excel 2003: Choose AutoCorrect Options from the Tools menu.

Near the bottom of the AutoCorrect dialog box is a list of AutoCorrect entries. (See Figure 1.) Each entry is made up of two parts; the part on the left is what you would type, and the part on the right is what Excel automatically uses instead of what you typed.

Figure 1. The AutoCorrect dialog box.

To add your own custom AutoCorrect entries, you do it using the Replace and With fields. All you need to do is type in the Replace field what you want Excel to recognize and in the With field what you want it replaced with. For instance, let's say you worked for the FDA, and you wanted Excel to replace "FDA" with "Food and Drug Administration," as you typed. All you would do is place "FDA" in the Replace field and "Food and Drug Administration" in the With field, and then click your mouse on Add.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2852) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Using AutoCorrect.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Setting the Calculation Default

Excel can recalculate your worksheets either automatically or manually. The default is to calculate them automatically, ...

Discover More

Making VLOOKUP Trigger a Macro

VLOOKUP is an oft-used worksheet function to lookup values in a data table. If the function cannot return a value, it ...

Discover More

Batch Template Changes

Changing the template associated with a couple of documents is easy, but what if a whole directory needs to be changed? These ...

Discover More

Program Successfully in Excel! John Walkenbach's name is synonymous with excellence in deciphering complex technical topics. With this comprehensive guide, "Mr. Spreadsheet" shows how to maximize your Excel experience using professional spreadsheet application development tips from his own personal bookshelf. Check out Excel 2013 Power Programming with VBA today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Increasing the Capacity of AutoCorrect

AutoCorrect can be a great tool to, well, "correct" information that you type. If you get a little creative, you can even use ...

Discover More

Turning Off Capital Corrections

Tired of having Excel second-guess you when you type a word that starts with two capital letters? You can turn off this ...

Discover More

Backing Up Your AutoCorrect Entries

Want to protect the information that you may be stored in your AutoCorrect entries? Just find a special type of file on your ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is five more than 2?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.