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Use text substitutions to correct common typing errors Apps
Mail and spell checking in general will fix a lot of typos and spelling errors automatically as you type, but it fails to correct common key sequence issues. Sometimes words are an actual word, but not something 99% of people would write. It also sometimes doesn't fix short spelling errors. Fixing things like "i," "suer", "tis," "fi," "eb," "si," "ti," and "int eh." Symbol and text substitution is your friend and picks up when spell checking doesn't.

I write a lot of e-mails; often hundreds a day providing support to customers. Not form e-mails, but actual human e-mails. Mail has pretty good auto-correction for spelling errors, but it doesn't handle key sequencing errors where the space key gets hit just before the ending letter of a word, or when letters come out just slightly out of sequence form typing fast. I constantly found myself proofreading for weird auto-corrected words, fixing the red underlined unknown things Mail didn't fix, and fixing missed capitalization mistakes such as "i" and "THanks." I searched and searched, trying to figure out how to remove words from dictionary, when I suddenly realized I could override the dictionary. Until now, I just see people telling you how to make shortcuts to type longer texts and such, but it's more useful to me to have it fix my typos so I can write my text faster.

Open System Preferences, click on Language & Text, then on the Text tab to see the Symbol and text substitution list. Using this, I can fix common spelling sequence typos automatically, and have made my typo error rate almost 0%.

Here are some examples that Mail didn't auto-correct:
  • i > I
  • em > me
  • hte > the
  • ym > my
  • tis > its
  • ont hem > on them
  • suer > user
  • fi > if
  • od > do
  • beb > Ben
  • apss > pass
  • si > is
  • eb > be
  • sue > use
  • Whent he > When he
  • int eh > in the
  • ont he > on the
  • ont eh > on the
  • ti > it
  • tot he > to the
  • trya > try a
  • a nd > and
Try this, and you may find that the common errors you make are automatically corrected.
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Use text substitutions to correct common typing errors
Authored by: pullinst on Nov 09, '12 08:55:05AM

"Not form em-ails, but actual human e-mails."

Looks like this hint could use a little work ...



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Use text substitutions to correct common typing errors
Authored by: Supp0rtLinux on Nov 09, '12 12:39:27PM

I always thought it was just a lot easier to learn to type better. Text substitution is great on small devices or in obvious places like txt/sms/mms where we're using shorthand anyway. But when it comes to normal typing and such, its just easier to learn to type better than to do all the work of setting this up. To me, this is like using training wheels on your BMX bike at age 16 cause you were to lazy to learn to ride properly.



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Use text substitutions to correct common typing errors
Authored by: bedouin on Nov 09, '12 01:59:47PM

I'm still running 10.6, so I don't know when or if autocorrect became a default in OS X -- but I'm fairly sure it's something I'd disable upon upgrading. When I proofread I want to search solely for MY mistakes, not the machine's.



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Use text substitutions to correct common typing errors
Authored by: spinkb on Nov 09, '12 11:39:47PM

I type fairly fast, not record holding to anything...but fast enough that my fingers sometimes don't come down on the letters in just the exact timing I had planned for them. (100-120wpm) Especially dealing with the space bar. So in my specific spelling mistake scenarios, I can now make the OS fix them for me.

Otherwise, its kind of silly to sit and type on an iPad that automatically fixes this sort of thing for you but have your main OS do a poor job at it.

This hint definitely isn't going to be for everyone, but I know there are a lot of people who type a lot of emails and suffer form this same scenario. So I hope it helps them until they can learn how to type proper. :)



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Use text substitutions to correct common typing errors
Authored by: ClunkClunk on Nov 09, '12 04:54:54PM

Was the typo in 'e-mail' intentional or just a humorous mistake, considering the topic of the article?



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Use text substitutions to correct common typing errors
Authored by: RobertBen on Nov 09, '12 11:38:34PM

So a great hint gets only silly comments? It seems the level on Mac OS X Hints is dropping...

@ Supp0rtLinux: I guess that means this hint isn't for you, but that doesn't make it less valuable for others.

@ ClunkClunk: My guess is that the writer of this hint isn't English, and in some languages 'e-mail' is actually the correct spelling (Dutch for instance, where 'email' means 'enamel').

@ spinkb: Great hint! You just made my day and I'll start looking for my own common mistakes, to make auto-correction even better!



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Use text substitutions to correct common typing errors
Authored by: Anonymous on Nov 13, '12 12:53:43PM

Wow, talk about scraping the barrel! Whoever woulda thunk to use an automatic spelling correction tool to automatically correct spelling errors?!

I really must get around to submitting my "use mouse to move pointer" hint.



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Use text substitutions to correct common typing errors
Authored by: Makosuke on Nov 14, '12 02:13:19PM

It's not a bad hint at all, but I'd rather recommend against this one:

sue > use

...unless you plan on never mentioning lawsuits in your correspondence. Otherwise you could end up getting autocorrecte'd into some unintentionally awkward sentences when discussing suing someone.

You can, of course, always override the autocorrect manually, but it's easy to miss if you're typing quickly.



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Use text substitutions to correct common typing errors
Authored by: dustin5 on Nov 15, '12 11:27:50AM

Typing in iOS, I've grown accustomed to "space space" being converted to "period space" for ending sentences. I added that one to the text substitutions and it works like a charm. At least in Apple applications like TextEdit. You must type the 2 spaces then type another character (beginning your next sentence) for the replacement to take place.



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Use text substitutions to correct common typing errors
Authored by: spinkb on Nov 15, '12 01:47:57PM

That's a useful one too! Didn't think of it.

Its a shame so many of the posters here don't get what this hint is all about.

Now if only Chrome supported text substitutions, or if the text substitutions could match case.



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Use text substitutions to correct common typing errors
Authored by: bhart1518 on Nov 25, '12 10:30:57AM

Does anyone know how to import a text file of substitutions? I have a lot from TextExpander on my Mac and would like to use them in my iOS iPad and iPhone.



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