These custom keyboard shortcuts automatically fill in words and phrases
Any time-saving tricks work in word processing programs is to be welcomed, and more recently Google Docs added a new one, converting three dashes to em dashes and two dashes to end dashes automatically for you.
What you may not have realized is that you can easily create your own text shortcuts, replacements, and autocorrections like this – not just in Google Docs, but in other word processors such as Microsoft Word and Apple Pages. It can save you a significant amount of time and effort when you know how.
We will cover these three here, but the same feature is available in many alternatives. If you dig a little through the settings, you will find something similar.
If you have your own words or phrases that you often misspell and want to correct automatically in Google Docs, you can make your own. These updates will be applied as you type, so you can use the set of letter combinations as shortcuts for a little longer, similar to the built-in text extender. When the document is open on the web, select Tools, Preferences, and then Replacements.
Make sure Automatic replacement check the box, then scroll down to see the automatic updates that Google Docs takes care of by default — you can deselect all of them that you don’t want to apply. You can also completely remove replacements with a small one x icons on the right side of the list.
To create your own autocorrection or replacement, for em dash or anything else, use Replace i With boxes. As soon as both fields are filled in, your replacement is added to the top of the list, where it can be edited or deleted as needed. When you are satisfied with what the list looks like, click office.
Google Docs is now smart enough to replace a lot of common spelling mistakes without doing anything: you’ll see that the replacement word appears with the correct spelling and a dashed underline that indicates a change. If Google Docs misses any of this for any reason, click on the word and select Undo.
In Microsoft Word, you can configure autocorrections on Windows by going to File, Options, i Check. Here you will find many different options covering spelling and grammar checking, custom dictionary support, readability statistics for your document and more.