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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Play It Again – When AutoCorrect and ShortKeys Collide

First published 5/9/08

I've had some issues with some of my ShortKeys expansions that took me a while to figure out, so I thought I'd mention it here and hopefully save someone some time.

The first was when I tried to set up yo/ to expand to -year-old. It kept inserting a space before the first hyphen even though it was set to backspace first. I eventually gave up and just deleted the ShortKey and forgot all about it.

And then, several months later, I wanted to add contractions to my list so that I wouldn't have to type the apostrophe each time. As an example, I added didnt to expand to didn't.

Unfortunately, every time I did that, I got:

I mentioned it to Tara and Shaina, and they said that it was because the words were already in autocorrect, and both programs were trying to change it at the same time. I definitely did not want to go through and have to search for all of the autocorrect words that might interfere, and I almost deleted all of the contractions I had added, but fortunately, I realized there's a much easier way to do it before I did that.

First, type the word that is causing the collision. In this example, it's didnt.

Now, hit Ctrl to cancel the ShortKey expansion.

At this point, hover your mouse over the word, and you'll see the autocorrect icon just below the first letter of the word:

Click on the icon, and you'll see this menu:

Simply click "Stop Automatically Correcting 'didnt'" (or hit A), and voila! Now when you type didnt, you will only get the expansion you're looking for.

As it turns out, the problem was a bit more complicated with my first example. When I would type "yo" and then add the / to the end, autocorrect would change it to you/. Then when ShortKeys expanded it, it was using the backspace for the extra letter that appeared rather than the space. Hitting Ctrl before the expansion happened let me see what was going on, and I was also able to disable that one so that I can now add "-year-old" as needed.

Hopefully this will save someone time and frustration and allow you to use ShortKeys even more effectively!