Using abbreviations is an intuitive way to handle AutoCorrect entries. They're easy to remember for most of us. For instance, you might use your initials to represent your name in an AutoCorrect entry. That arrangement works well until you run across an abbreviation that might work for more than one entry. For instance, the abbreviation htg might work for Harkins Technological Group and HTG, International. Now, you might think that you can't use htg for both, but you can by prefixing one with an apostrophe character ('). For instance, you might enter htg for the company name and 'htg for the abbreviated version. To access this feature, choose AutoCorrect Options from the Tools menu. Enter the abbreviation in the Replace field and the replacement text in the With field. To use the AutoCorrect entries, type htg and Word will automatically replace htg with Harkins Technological Group. Word will change 'htg to HTG, International. You could also use two different entries — say, htg and htginc. There's nothing wrong with that solution, but it does require a few more keystrokes. You'll find the apostrophe solution particularly useful when entries are closely related to specific abbreviations.
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Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.