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How to Use Autocorrect to Quickly Write Chemical Formulas in Microsoft Word 2007

Updated on November 8, 2010

Writing Chemical Formula in Microsoft Word 2007

If you're a science student, or someone working already in the field of science, you may often create documents which contain lots of chemical formulas. Examples of these are H2SO4, CaCl2, CH4, etc. Creating such texts is quite tedious because you'll need to click the subscript and superscript icons a lot. But, do you know that you can simplify the task by using the autocorrect facility provided by Microsoft Word 2007? When use the Autocorrect, next time you write the formula you don't anymore to click the superscript or subscript icon because the text will be formatted automatically.

Isn't it great?

The Autocorrect feature is not only for chemical formulas. You can also use it to any other formatted texts, too. Beside with the chemical formulas, I often use the Autocorrect also for italic texts such latin names.

Keyboard Shortcuts for Subscript and Superscript

Before using autocorrect, you know how to use superscript and subscript icons in Microsoft Word 2007, don't you?! It is very easy because the icons are shown under Home menu, within the Font box. Just select the text you want to be in subscript or superscriptand then click the appropriate icon.

What about using keyboard short for the same results? It is simpler than you may think!

  1. Select the text you want to be in subscript or superscript
  2. For subscript, the keyboard shortcut is Ctrl and + simultaneously. Do it again to undo
  3. For superscript, the keyboard shortcut is Ctrl and Shift and + simultaneously. Do it again to undo

You can try it now with your Microsoft Office 2007.

Image 1: Office Button
Image 1: Office Button
Image 2: Autocorrect window
Image 2: Autocorrect window

Use Autocorrect to Create Formatted Texts such as Chemical Formulas

Here is the best way to write chemical formulas. And the quickest one!

  1. Type in the text exactly how you want to appear. For example, type H2SO4 properly (including the subscript format for number 2 and 4).
  2. Select the formatted H2SO4. Make sure you only select them. Don't select any character after that (such as space or enter).
  3. While the formatted text being selected, click the Office Button (on most upper left corner of your screen). See Image 1.
  4. Click Word Option
  5. Click Proofing
  6. In the appearing window, select 'Replace text as you type' box and then select 'Faromatted' radio button (see Image 2)
  7. In the box under 'Replace', type H2SO4
  8. Click Add
  9. Click OK

After it is added into Autocorrect library, next time you type in H2SO4 will be formatted properly as should be (that after you hit space or enter following H2SO4).

Repeat the above steps for other chemical formulas or other formatted texts.


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    • htodd profile image

      htodd 6 years ago from United States

      Thanks ..Great post