Wow, after the massive response to my last post I'm getting the hint that Word tips are interesting. So here's another.
There's a feature in Word called autocorrect, which does what it says. If you type teh it auto-magically changes it to the. This saves lots of backspacing and retyping. You can find it on the menu under Tools -> Autocorrect Options. Autocorrect is on by default so you probably already know about it. But did you know you can add your own autocorrections?
You can distort autocorrect to do two things very useful for writers.
You can use autocorrect to make typing character names faster. My hero and heroine are Nicolaos and Diotima. After about 23 revisions of two books, I can type their names blindfold, in my sleep, with both hands tied behind my back. I have other characters with names like Pericles, Xanthippus, Themistocles and Sophroniscus. They're all real and fascinating people from the Golden Age of Greece!
So I've added these autocorrections:
N autocorrects to Nicolaos.
D autocorrects to Diotima.
P autocorrects to Pericles.
X autocorrects to Xanthippus.
thm autocorrects to Themistocles.
S autocorrects to Sophroniscus.
If I type:
"N, I want you and D to carry this secret message to X," P said.
Then what comes out is
"Nicolaos, I want you and Diotima to carry this secret message to Xanthippus," Pericles said.
That's 29 keystrokes saved, which frees up more time to spend playing with twitter and facebook.
You can add your own autocorrections by going to Tools -> Autocorrect Options. Type your N in the textbox labelled Replace, and your Nicolaos in the textbox labelled With. Then click Add. The entire list of autocorrections, including the defaults, are in the list at the bottom of the dialog.
The other use I put autocorrect to is to catch my noise words. Everyone has them. I tend to overuse the word just. To stop myself I put in this autocorrection:
just autocorrects to NO! NO! NO!
If I type:
"I'll just wander over to the Agora," N said.
What appears is:
"I'll NO! NO! NO! wander over to the Agora," Nicolaos said.
If you're wondering how I manage to write just when I actually mean it, jsut is set to autocorrect to just. So I have to deliberately misspell the word to get it in, which makes me think first.