Sometimes tools can be useful for things their creators never intended. That’s the idea behind this tip from Forbes. It uses the AutoCorrect feature in Microsoft Office to create any kind of response or text you end up entering frequently. To do it, just follow these steps:
In Word 2016 just click File in the Menu bar at the upper left, and select Options. Click or tap on Proofing in the menu pane on the left side, and then choose AutoCorrect Options. You will see the complete list of AutoCorrect entries—both the common mis-spellings or shortcuts and the text that Word will replace them with. Just above the list you will see text boxes labeled “Replace” and “With”. Just type the text you want to replace in the “Replace” field and the text you want to replace it with in the “With” field and click OK. Voila! Now you have a shortcut to add a quick boilerplate response.
The Microsoft Office applications share the AutoCorrect dictionary, so the entries you add will be available across your Word documents, Outlook emails, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, and more.
A couple quick tips. First, make sure that the text you use in the “Replace” field is text that you won’t accidentally type when you don’t mean to. Choose some sort of acronym for the boilerplate text you want to add, or make up some gibberish. I created an entry for the text “yesbargo” that replaces the word with the boilerplate response, “Yes, I will be happy to honor the embargo. Please send over any information you can.” I prefer to do briefings and interviews by email, so I also created an AutoCorrect entry for briefing requests that replaces the text “nocall” with the boilerplate text, “I think this is an interesting topic and I’d like to pursue it but I don’t have time for a call. Please feel free to submit any insight and commentary via email.”