Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Using AutoCorrect.

Using AutoCorrect

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 26, 2015)

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. To display the dialog box, follow these steps:

  1. Display the Excel Options dialog box. (In Excel 2007 click the Office button and then click Excel Options. In Excel 2010 and later versions, display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. Click Proofing at the left side of the dialog box.
  3. Click AutoCorrect Options. Excel displays the AutoCorrect dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The AutoCorrect dialog box.

Near the bottom of the AutoCorrect dialog box is a list of AutoCorrect entries. 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.

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 (6257) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel 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. ...

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