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

Opening Word 2007 Files in Older Versions

Word 2007 uses a different file format than was used in previous versions of Word. This can cause some problems in ...

Discover More

Hiding and Unhiding Worksheets

Worksheets are easily accessible in a workbook, but you may not want them to be so open. You can hide worksheets so they ...

Discover More

Simulating Alt+Enter in a Formula

You can use the Alt+Enter keyboard shortcut while entering information in order to force your data onto multiple lines in ...

Discover More
More DriveTips

Converting a Word Document to Docs Format

Many documents start out in Microsoft Word, but you may need to move them to Docs so you can share and collaborate with ...

Discover More

Updating a Table of Contents

For longer documents, a table of contents is almost a necessity. Google Docs allows you to add a TOC to a document, but ...

Discover More

Converting a PDF to a Docs File

Need to get the text out of a PDF file so that you can edit it? Docs makes it easy by offering to convert the file for ...

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 four less than 5?

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