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The Access Wizard Newsletter Tips, Tricks, and Traps for Access Users and Developers
October 2011

How to Avoid Unwanted Help with Misspellings

I was on the streets of Boston last spring and noticed a boy scout standing on the corner. He was doing the good-deed-a-day routine by helping little old ladies cross the street - a good thing to do. However, I noticed that as he approached one older lady about to cross, she became angry and threatened to hit him with her cane. Evidently help crossing the street was not what was wanted.

Access has a similar built-in help system for those of us who have trouble spelling: AutoCorrect. While you're typing, if you make a common spelling error, say hte instead of the, it will automatically correct your entry.

Usually this is a good thing; however, occasionally there may be a term used in your database that Access insists on correcting when you don't want it to.

In this month's Wizard, we'll tackle the issue of how to refuse the AutoCorrect help for selected misspellings.

In this Issue
  • Tip of the Month - Consider the Need for a New Database vs. including something in an Existing Database
  • The Problem
  • Solution One: Easy and Focused
  • Solution Two: Tougher, but More Global
  • Conclusion
  • Trap of the Month - Name AutoCorrect vs. AutoCorrect

  • The Problem

    Let's say that you supply a service called In Home Supports and you use the acronym IHS. It can get really annoying to have Access continually correct your intended typing by replacing it with HIS. There are two approaches to solving this problem.


    Solution One: Easy and Focused

    This quick fix is easy, fast, and focused. Open the form in design mode where you may want to type your word. Right click on the control that may contain the misspelling. Click on properties, click on the Other Tab, then change AutoCorrect from Yes to No.

    This approach is limited to a single control. Essentially if you choose this option then no matter what you put into the textbox, the AutoCorrect engine will ignore it.

    The advantage of this is that it is fast and easy.

    The disadvantages, unfortunately, are a bit more significant:

    • This fix is for a single control. You will have to repeat this process for every textbox where you may be typing this particular word.
    • It's a sledge hammer; it takes away the positive effect of protecting you from other common spelling mistakes.


    Solution Two: Tougher, but More Global

    For 2010, click on the File Tab then click on proofing | Auto Correct options.

    For 2007, click on the Office Circle in the top left hand side of the Screen, click on proofing | Auto Correct options.

    For Access 2003 and earlier, Select Tools from the menu on the top of the screen, then click on Options, followed by Auto Correct Options.

    You'll get a dialog box with a Replace along with an entry area. Enter the word that you no longer want to AutoCorrect into the find box - this will then bring up the word that it has been replacing. Click on the delete button and then click OK twice. From that point on, any time you type your chosen word, the AutoCorrect wizard will ignore your misspelling.

    One caveat here, make sure you eliminate only the word you want to no longer AutoCorrect. If you get overzealous on this screen, you take away the beneficial aspects of the spelling wizard.


    Conclusion

    For the most part, spelling correction is a valuable tool. However, when you have a word that you don't want changed, you can now have it blissfully ignore what it would otherwise consider an error.


    Trap of the Month - Name AutoCorrect vs. AutoCorrect

    The Name AutoCorrect feature is different than the AutoCorrect feature. The Name AutoCorrect feature corrects references between objects within your database. For instance, if you have a summer camp application with a table named "Cabins" and you want to change the name to "tblCabins" so that it is consistent with a naming convention, the Name AutoCorrect feature will help to ripple this change through out your database.

    This is a power feature; make sure you don't get it confused with AutoCorrect.


    Tip of the Month - Consider the Need for a New Database vs. including something in an Existing Database

    Once you understand the power that comes from organizing your data into a database, you may start to see problems that can be solved through the creation of a new Access application.

    Although it certainly makes sense to turn to Access to solve a problem, a new database may not be the way to go. If you have an existing Application that would lend itself to having the new application interweaved, then that may be a more efficient way to solve the problem.

    This has the potential to be a huge savings. Stay tuned for a future Wizard that delves into this issue more fully.

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