Excel Changing Spelling of Names

Dear Computer Lady,

When I created a spreadsheet, Excel changes the spelling of a Stock Name I typed in a column.

The only way I can keep the name from reflecting what Excel is changing it to is to put a 1 in front of the Stock Name(Example: Stock Name is ANC, Excel changes it to CAN…I do not know how to fix it except for adding the 1 infront of ANC to reflect: 1ANC.

Any ideas? Cathy


Dear Cathy,

It sounds like Excel is using AutoCorrect to change your stock abbreviation to a word that it finds in its dictionary.

If this is the case, you have a couple of options. You can either turn off AutoCorrect, or you can add the stock names to the custom dictionary.

I am using Excel 2010 on my computer, but the directions should be similar:

1. Open Excel

2. Click on the “File” tab, and click “Options” in the drop down list.

3. In the Options dialog box, click “Proofing” in the left hand column.

4. Click on the “Auto Correct Options” button.

5. Click to remove the check mark from, “Replace Text As You Type”.

6. Click the “OK” button in both windows to save your changes and close the windows.


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    • Becky Schneider
    • November 4, 2011

    Another choice could be to remove the “anc” entry from autocorrect- Then autocorrect would still work but it wouldn’t change “anc” to “can”

    I thought formatting the cells would also make it work, but it does not. I would be lost completely without my autocorrect, so I really hated the thought of telling someone to turn it off. MS does put a whole lot of misspellings in autocorrect and over time, I have taken out many of the ones I know I rarely or never type. For instance, I often mistype “teh” for “the” so I wouldn’t want to remove that from autocorrect, but some misspellings I know I don’t do…so I feel okay removing them.

    In the situation above, I oftentimes add something to my short form to differentiate a long form. I am a medical transcriptionists and believe me, we use this autocorrect or similar speedtyping features a LOT.

    For example, ATF can stand for atrial fibrillation (a heart condition) or anterior talofibular ligament (a lower extremity ligament.) Sometimes I want to type atf and have it change to all caps, ATF, and sometimes, I want to type atf and have it change to atrial fibrillation. so I have two short forms:
    atf = atrial fibrillation and
    atf2 = ATF

    So then, if the doctor is talking about atrial fibrillation and says ATF, I just type atf2, or if they are talking about the ligament called the ATF ligament, I would type atf2 to get my capitalized ATF. If they actually dictate atrial fibrillation, I type atf and it is replaced with “atrial fibrillation”

    I have many examples of this:
    ekg = EKG
    ekg2 = electrocardiogram

    chf = CHF
    chf2 = congestive heart failure

    (I tend to use the shorter of the short forms for the one that is most often used by dictators..usually the initials, in atf, they usually say the words, not the initials, in my experience… so I make it user friendly for ME)

    The user above could put the 1 in front of the name, as they are doing, or after the name and have that work for the name. (Personally, I would choose whatever is easiest to type; the 1 key is not that easy to reach and you have to *think* more to type a number in front of what you’re thinking about. If the user is thinking about the ANC company, they are not likely to think of the number 1 FIRST..that’s why I recommend putting it after the short form)

    so, if the user put anc2 for their short form in autocorrect, and ANC as the long form, when it pops up ANC it will NOT change to CAN. Autocorrect does not change something that it populates. If she went back and typed a space or period or something like that (I think it’s called a deliminator?–something that makes the autocorrect expand) after the ANC and after autocorrect had replaced that, it would then change to CAN.

    That’s why I would recommend taking out the short form “anc” altogether or at least redefining it so the long form is ANC instead of CAN

    Autocorrect is too valuable of a tool to just turn off…make it work to your advantage…it’s a lifesaver.

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