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Monday, May 19, 2008

Using Autocorrect to Your Advantage

While I'm sure there are some perfect typists out there, I'm not one of them. The truth is that while my accuracy continues to improve, I've also just learned to utilize some of the tools available to overcome my deficiency. Unfortunately, I never learned to type properly, and I still don't, using only three fingers and my thumb on my left hand and only my middle finger on my right hand (not a style I recommend, by the way, but old dogs, new tricks and all of that), and I think this contributes to transposing letters in words, such as typing jsut for just.

I actually have the most common errors I make, such as jsut, added to ShortKeys so that they're automatically corrected wherever I type them rather than just in Word. But, I've also found that adding other errors to AutoCorrect while spell checking my files makes a huge difference. I can't even guess how many of these common errors I've added, but if I see the same mistake twice, I simply choose the correct word from the list and click "AutoCorrect" in the spell check window. This has cut down on my spelling mistakes exponentially, saving me time when it's time to check my files after I've finished transcribing.

It is important that you're careful about these when you add them because there may be times when you type two different words as the same incorrect word, and you'll want to be sure that you're not changing it to the wrong one. Occasionally, these AutoCorrect words will collide with your ShortKeys, but that can be easily fixed by following these instructions.

Remember that it's the seemingly little things, like adding spelling errors to AutoCorrect, that add up to improve our productivity as a transcriptionists. I know that sometimes I focus on the extra time that it takes now rather than the time it will save me later, but it is definitely worth that initial investment!


margi said...

Your hands, wrists and arms will thank you, too.

(I am dealing with RSI issues and although I've been using autocorrect extensively, I splurged on some typing expanders, finally settling on ShortKeys (for the short-term) and Instant Text for the long haul. I can't quit working, so I intend to make it much easier on my upper body and use these programs as much as I possibly can.

Mandi said...

Hey Margi! I saw your post about Instant Text, and I'm really interested to see how it goes for you. Tara and I have debated for YEARS on whether it'd be worth it for us as general transcriptionists since there's such a wide variety of work and therefore not as many repetitive phrases. We'd love to hear more about what you think as you figure things out and start incorporating it more and more!