Writing business documents – how to be more effective

No matter your field of work, as a professional you spend a great deal of your workday writing business documents.  It could be an email to a client, an important proposal … the list goes on.  So it makes sense to be more effective when writing.

The problem is that sometimes our typing skills hold us back – our fingers can’t keep up with the flow of our thoughts.  Enter Word’s AutoCorrect feature.  It’s a simple tool but one that’ll decrease the time you spend writing business documents.

AutoCorrect is usually used for correcting misspelled words or typos.  But you can program it to do much more than this.

That is, you can program AutoCorrect to insert text when you type a shorthand cue.  You can do this for regularly used phrases, sentences and large blocks of text (up to 255 characters).  And you can even do it for individual words!

So, for example, instead of typing the words Please find attached, all you need to do is type a shorthand cue such as pfa.

But because this doesn’t all happen by magic, you must begin by adding your cues to AutoCorrect.  Although there are a few steps involved, it’s well worth the effort in the long run.

Program AutoCorrect

Here’s how:

  • Copy the text to be saved as the AutoCorrect entry;
  • Select File > Options > Proofing;
  • Click the AutoCorrect Options button – the following screen appears;
AutoCorrect dialogue box - use AutoCorrect to be more effective when writing business documents.
Writing business documents? Use AutoCorrect to be more effective.
  • Within the AutoCorrect tab, add your shorthand cue in the left hand cell, and paste the text in the right hand cell (if it’s not already appearing).

Note: ensure your shorthand cues aren’t actual words, otherwise you’ll get yourself into all sorts of trouble!

Put AutoCorrect into practice when writing your business documents

When you need to insert a phrase, sentence, etc, that you’ve added to AutoCorrect, simply type the relevant shorthand cue, press the spacebar and you’re done.

As an added bonus, your AutoCorrect entries will also be available within Excel and PowerPoint, as well as Outlook.  So be sure to use them here as well.

Finally, it’s a good idea to keep a list of your AutoCorrect entries to help you easily remember cues.  This will be particularly useful in the beginning.  As time passes, your shorthand cues will form part of your vocab and you’ll no longer need to refer back to your list.

So be sure to give AutoCorrect a go – you’ll be impressed by how this simple Microsoft Word feature can help you become more effective when writing business documents.