How to Learn Shorthand Typing

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Today's word processing software allows users to "program" specific shortcuts that quickly complete words. Often referred to as shorthand typing, this particular tool is particularly useful for individuals who write extensively and use similar words or phrases on a regular basis. By programming your word processor to automatically recognize certain letters or phrases and convert them to complete words and sentences, you can save yourself a tremendous amount of time and energy during your work. Fortunately, learning how to program shorthand typing in your computer can be accomplished relatively easily.

The Basics of Typing Shorthand

In order to get started with shorthand typing, take a moment to make a list of words which you would like to create shortcuts for. For example, if you work in a field which uses microscopes often, you may wish to program the letters "mc" to autocorrect to "microscope." This is just one example of the various possibilities available with shorthand typing. Keep in mind that you should only program as many shortcuts as you think you can recall quickly! You won't find these shorthand techniques useful at all if you can't recall the specific letter combination which creates the desired word.

Programming Your Word Processor

Once you have completed your list, open your word processing program. For this particular example, Google Docs will be used. After you have opened a new Google document, click on the "Tools" tab at the top of the screen. From here, select the "Preferences" option at the bottom of the menu. When the preferences window opens, you can add specific letter combinations in the "Replace" form field and then designate the word that they will be substituted with in the "With" form field. Notice how you are given an unlimited number of opportunities to program these types of replacements. If you don't use Google Docs, you can find a function similar to this in your preferred word processors.

Testing Your Shorthand Typing

Click "OK" at the bottom of the preferences menu to finalize the changes you have made. Back inside your document, type one of the specific letter combinations you are using as a placeholder for a longer word. Once you have typed the letters, press the space bar. The autocorrect feature should immediately replace the letters you typed with the word you programmed inside of the "With" field earlier. This process represents the basics of modern shorthand typing. Whether you choose to program specific words, such as your name or address, or are ready to explore longer automation possibilities, shorthand typing can greatly assist with your daily typing duties and accelerate your word count.