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

Aligning Plus/Minus Symbols

Scientific writing often involves the use of special symbols, such as the plus/minus symbol. If you want to align these ...

Discover More

Preparing Files for a Commercial Printer

Sometimes you may want to send Word documents to a commercial printer for professional mass production. Doing this requires ...

Discover More

Tools to View Field Codes

Fields can be used to add all sorts of dynamic data to your documents. Viewing the field codes, at times, is desirable. ...

Discover More

Save Time and Supercharge Excel! Automate virtually any routine task and save yourself hours, days, maybe even weeks. Then, learn how to make Excel do things you thought were simply impossible! Mastering advanced Excel macros has never been easier. Check out Excel 2010 VBA and Macros 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

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
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. 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 7 + 7?

2011-12-02 07:33:12

Heather

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


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.