Using Automatic Substitution

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 20, 2014)

Longtime users of Microsoft Word are familiar with a tool known as AutoCorrect. It allows you to create a series of characters that, when typed, are automatically "corrected" to some other series of characters. Thus, you could set up the program to recognize that when you typed "tihs" you really meant "this," and it makes the change for you.

Google Docs also includes a tool that accomplishes the same task; it's name is "Automatic Substitution." You can get to this tool by clicking the Tools menu and then clicking Preferences. The tool is shown in the resulting Preferences dialog box. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Preferences dialog box.

Docs includes a good number of common substitutions already, and you can easily add more. Simply use the blank boxes at the top of the list to define the pairs: On the left you enter what you want to replace and on the right you enter what you want to replace it with.

You can also "turn off" substitutions of specific pairs (use the check box to the left of the pair) or you can delete a substitution pair entirely (use the X at the right of the pair).

When you click OK to close the Preferences dialog box, your changes to the Automatic Substitution list are immediately available.

Docs is not the only Drive app that includes the Automatic Substitution tool. It is also included in Presentation. Any changes you make to the Automatic Substitution list in one app is available in the other app once you restart it.

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

Transposing Letters

My fat fingers sometimes result in typing letters in the wrong order. Here's a quick tool that allows you to easily ...

Discover More

Splitting Table Cells

When formatting tables, you can both merge and split cells. Here's a couple of ways you can easily perform the latter ...

Discover More

Watermarks in Excel

Excel is great at printing numbers on a piece of paper, but terrible at printing watermarks. This is apparently by ...

Discover More
More DriveTips

Removing a Hyperlink

Hyperlinks allow you to extend the reach of your document, providing pathways to outside resources that readers may find ...

Discover More

Adding Fonts to Docs

If Docs only provided one or two fonts for displaying document text, it wouldn't be taken seriously as a word processor. ...

Discover More

Adding a Hyperlink to a Document

As an online tool, it makes sense that Docs allows you to create hyperlinks that lead to other resources online. Here's ...

Discover More
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. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. 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 2 - 2?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)