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: Unwanted Data Changes.

Unwanted Data Changes

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 11, 2015)

1

Have you ever been typing data into a worksheet, only to look back and find that Excel had made changes to words or letters you entered. For instance, you may have a client named Hempstead-Gorton Enterprises, and you enter their initials into a cell as HGE. When you press the space bar or move to another cell, Excel changes the initials to HE.

This is one of those cases where Excel is second-guessing you and is doing a poor job of it. What is happening is that AutoCorrect is kicking into play, and sees HGE as a common typing error. Thinking that you meant to type "he," AutoCorrect makes the change for you.

If such unwanted changes are giving you the fits, you can follow these steps to correct the problem:

  1. Choose AutoCorrect Options from the Tools menu. Excel displays the AutoCorrect tab of the AutoCorrect dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  2. Figure 1. The AutoCorrect tab of the AutoCorrect dialog box.

  3. At the bottom of the dialog box you see a list of AutoCorrect entries. Scroll through the list and select the one that is giving you problems. For instance, if you don't want "hge" corrected to "he," then locate and select the entry that has "hge" on the left and "he" on the right.
  4. Click Delete.
  5. If there are other entries you need to remove, repeat steps 2 and 3 for each of them.
  6. Click OK to dismiss the AutoCorrect dialog box.

Now you can type away without Excel incorrectly changing your acronym.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3334) 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: Unwanted Data Changes.

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 AutoRecover Directory

When you are using Word, it normally saves temporary AutoRecover files that reflect the latest state of your document. If you ...

Discover More

Moving Subtotals

When you add subtotals to a worksheet, Excel typically places them in the same column that you are subtotaling. If you want ...

Discover More

Selecting Default Paragraph Formatting

Want to return a paragraph's formatting back to it's pristine, unaltered state? You can do so by using the shortcut described ...

Discover More

Solve Real Business Problems Master business modeling and analysis techniques with Excel and transform data into bottom-line results. This hands-on, scenario-focused guide shows you how to use the latest Excel tools to integrate data from multiple tables. Check out Microsoft Excel 2013 Data Analysis and Business Modeling today!

MORE EXCELTIPS (MENU)

Using AutoCorrect

The AutoCorrect feature in Excel is a great tool for quickly entering information. Here's an explanation of the feature and a ...

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

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
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 for this tip:

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. 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 three minus 0?

2011-12-02 07:33:12

Heather

Is AutoCorrect shared across the other MicroSoft applications like Custom.dic?


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.

Links and Sharing
Share