How To Write Technical Documents Faster

What to know how to type faster and get those documents out the door quicker? Most people don’t know what the AutoCorrect feature in Word really does. Most people think it’s there to correct the odd typo and clean up your document AFTER you have written it. That’s true but… I use to correct the document AS I WRITE and to enter longs strings of text automatically. Why bother? When I write user guides, for example. I use a similar structure for the intro, bullet lists and instructions. Instead of writing, ‘follow these steps’, I type onto the page in Word the letters fts. Word then automatically writes, follow these steps: on the page. Do you see how useful this can be? You can also use it to o automatically detect and correct typos, misspelled words, and incorrect capitalization. It’s very powerful when you look into it and has saved me 100s of hours of manual typing. Another example? When I type ar1, AutoCorrect replaces it with “Annual Report.” Or if you type ‘Teh Executrie summary states’ with a space, AutoCorrect replaces what you have typed with “The Executive Summary states.” You can also use AutoCorrect to insert symbols, such as copyright symbols. Note: Text included in hyperlinks is not automatically corrected. So, how can I do this? To autocorrect your Word Documents, follow these steps: 1.a In Word 2003, click Tools, AutoCorrect Options. 1.b In Word 2007, click Start, Word Options, Proofing and then the AutoCorrect Options. 2. In the Replace box, type a word or phrase that you often mistype or misspell – for example, type Micorsoft. 3. In the With box, type the correct spelling of the word – for example, type Microsoft. 4. Click Add. Add a few more! Go on! Spend 15 min here and add in shortcuts for words, sentence and strings (e.g. Please follow these steps: etc) you use regularly. What other tips do you know to write documents faster?