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

Making Pane Settings Persist

When you freeze panes in a worksheet, those panes should persist even though you save the workbook and reload it. There ...

Discover More

Modifying Default Year for Dates

When entering dates into a worksheet, you may want the dates to default to last year instead of this year. Here's a way ...

Discover More

Sorting by the Last Digits in Variable Length Data

Excel is great at sorting information in a worksheet. Sometimes it can be a bit confusing as to how to set up the sort ...

Discover More
More DriveTips

Downloading Documents to Your Local Computer

Want to pull a document out of the cloud and store it on your local hard drive? Google Drive provides the ability to get ...

Discover More

Translating Documents

Need some help getting your document translated into a different language? Docs has a built-in translation tool that can ...

Discover More

Adding an Image to a Document

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, so it is fortunate that Docs allows you to easily add images to your ...

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 9 + 4?

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