How to easily overcome your dismal touch typing skills

Touch typing is a skill well worth having in this digital age, regardless of the kind of work you do.  But don’t despair if you’re a two finger typist because there is an easy way to reduce the amount of time you spend typing.  Enter Word’s AutoCorrect feature …

AutoCorrect is essentially used for correcting misspelled words or typos.  However, with a little work, you can quickly program AutoCorrect to do some of the typing for you.

Utilising AutoCorrect, you’ll be able to ‘type’ regularly used phrases, sentences and large blocks of text (up to 255 characters) simply by typing a predefined shorthand cue.  You can also add cues for individual words.

For example, instead of typing the words Please find attached, using AutoCorrect all you’ll need to do is type a shorthand cue such as pfa.

But because this doesn’t all happen by magic, you must begin by adding your cues to AutoCorrect.  Although there’s a few steps involved, it’s well worth the effort in the long run.

Here’s how:

  • Copy the text to be saved as the AutoCorrect entry;
  • Select File > Options > Proofing;
  • Click the AutoCorrect Options button – the following screen appears;

  • Within the AutoCorrect tab, add your shorthand cue in the left hand cell, and paste the text in the right hand cell (if it’s not already appearing).

NB: Ensure your shorthand cues aren’t actual words, otherwise you’ll get yourself into all sorts of trouble!

The next time you need to type a phrase, sentence, etc, that you’ve added to AutoCorrect, simply type the relevant shorthand cue, press the spacebar and you’re done.

Note that your AutoCorrect entries will also be available within Excel and PowerPoint, as well as Outlook.  So be sure to use these here as well.

Finally, it’s a good idea to keep a list of your AutoCorrect entries to help you easily remember cues.  This will be particularly useful in the beginning.  As time passes, however, your shorthand cues will form part of your vocab and you’ll no longer need to refer back to your list.

So in the end, whilst you may remain a two finger typist, you’ll have the benefit of needing to use less keystrokes, saving you time and increasing your productivity.