Wednesday 23 April 2014

Typing Productivity - Part 1 - Phrases

A Free Document Productivity Tool for Word

This tool describes an abbreviation system to reduce the typing load for business and technical documents.  

Part 1 deals quickly entering multi-word phrases that are often repeated in such documents.    Part  2 deals with abbreviations for long words and words that are very frequently used.  Part 3 provides a tool that automates the job of looking up and adding new abbreviations. Part 4 allows you to bulk import and export your abbreviations, and includes a dictionary of over 1000 abbreviations.

An abbreviation system has two important benefits:
  • Using abbreviations increases your typing throughput, regularly used phrases and long words can be typed with just a few characters.
  • Abbreviations makes typing more accurate because shorter words are easier type and the chances of needing to edit the word later are reduced.


AutoCorrect provides a general purpose tool for expanding an abbreviation to full text. For example the abbreviation "typpro" is expanded by AutoCorrect to be "typing productivity". 

I had used AutoCorrect concept in the past, but found the experience frustrating because I could only remember a handful of abbreviations.

I propose the B2E system – a set of simple rules that allow you to generate the abbreviation in your mind as you generate content.  They need to be simple so you can use them without being distracted as you type.

The B2E system – Part 1 - Phrases

The B2E system is intended for general purpose rather than specialist or high volume.  It focuses on the big ticket items – speeding up the entry of regularly used phrases and long words.

To use B2E, the abbreviation and its corresponding full text need to be loaded into the Word dictionary. This can be done manually or imported via a spreadsheet (see part 3).  Once this is done, the abbreviations will be available in all Office apps (e.g. Excel, Visio ) provided you keep using the same dictionary.

Rule 1 – Three or more word phrases 

Use the beginning  letter of each of the words in the phrases.  For example:
  • rar  = roles and responsibilities
  • isra = Information Security Risk Assessment

You can capitalise the full text if that is the way it is normally expressed
See also Rule 3 – Acronyms

Rule 2 – Two word Phrases

AutoCorrect - How to Access and Record Entries

A Free Document Productivity Tip for Word

This post shows how to load the AutoCorrect maintenance tool onto the Quick Access Toolbar so that it is available for use with a single click.  It then describes how to enter an abbreviation and its corresponding full text.

These tasks lay the foundation for the following posts that use the abbreviation concept to reduce the typing load of repetitive text.

Adding AutoCorrect to the Quick Access Toolbar

Step 1 - Open Quick Access Toolbar maintenance tool.

Friday 4 April 2014

SmartMove Up/Down

A Free Document Productivity Tool for Word

This tool moves a single paragraph up/down inside a table cell, and is useful for changing the order of bulleted items in a list.

It also supports the standard reordering tools that move paragraphs up/down in regular text or rows up/down in tables.  Details of this standard functionality can be found in the Moving Table Rows post.

The tool uses the context of the selected text to determine what to move. 

If the cursor is in a table cell and there is no range selected (i.e. just an insertion point) then the function will move the paragraph up/down.  
If the cursor is in a table cell and a range is selected, or a whole row (or rows) is selected, the standard OutlineMoveUp/Down  will be used to move the rows up/down.

If the cursor is in standard text as an insertion point or a range is selected, the standard function moves range up/down.