How to insert symbols using Autocorrect in Word?
Thread poster: Claire Cox

Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:55
French to English
+ ...
Mar 23, 2007

Hello,

I've recently started using Dragon NS, which I'm just getting to grips with, but I'm having problems getting it to type things like symbols (gamma, beta, etc) and subscript, superscripts, formulae names with the right combination of capitals eg m/s rather than M./S. Rather than type them in as I go, which spoils the flow somewhat - and defeats the object! - I had the brainwave of using Autocorrect or doing a global Find and Replace once I've finished. However, I find that I can't insert special symbols or subscripts/superscripts in the Find meu or in Autocorrect. Does anyone know how I can do this? I really could do without having to go through and adjust the subscripts in U3O8 hundreds of times? Likewise, with something like m/s, I thought if I dictated metres per second and set Autocorrect to change it automatically to m/s, that would work - but it doesn't. Don't know why.

I'm using Word 2003, by the way.

Many thanks

Claire


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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 02:55
Member
French to English
+ ...
Few ideas... Mar 23, 2007

For subscripts etc., I think you need to use the 'font' option (under More/Format/...) in the search-&-replace window; but you will need to search, for example, for m2 and replace with m², otherwise of course it would put ALL 2s in superscript! You might also consider, in simple cases, using the ² [Alt + 0178] and ³ [Alt + 0179] characters available even under ASCII, superscript 1 and 0 are also available I believe.

For 'metres per second', I don't know why you can't just dictate it as is, and then use search-&-replace to replace the word string with m/s?

Same goes for 'gamma', 'beta', etc. too, of course — if you have any risk of having both the word and the symbol in the same text (thus preventing you doing a global s-&-r), then simply dictate it as something that will produce a unique string, such as 'symbol gamma' — in fact, you can dictate it as anything you like, even 'squiggly Greek letter'!



[Edited at 2007-03-23 16:54]


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Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:55
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
All or nothing Mar 23, 2007

Hi Tony,

I've just experimented using the More/Font in Find/replace and it seems I can either have the whole thing subscript or nothing, so no chance of doing U3O8 with only the numbers subscript - unless I'm missing something? I'ver also tried copying it in from elsewhere but the subscripts disappear.

As for the m/s metres per second, yes, I can dictate it, then do a global replace, but I just wondered why Autocorrrect wasn't working with Dragon - maybe it needs the space actually typed after the word for that to kick in. That's probably a question for the speech recognition forum! It's all pretty new to me, I'm afraid.

In terms of inserting symbols, my usual shortcuts for the gamma, beta symbols don't seem to work in the find dialogue box. For example, I use Alt g for gamma and this switches to another command. The codes where I use a number do seem to work though, so I suppose I could reassign my codes, but when you've been using them for years, they become ingrained. Actually, I've just tried copying the symbol in from elsewhere and that seems to work, so the global replace at the end would seem to be a solution there too.

Many thanks - there's nothing like a bit of brainstorming!

Claire


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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 02:55
Member
French to English
+ ...
Ay, there's the rub... Mar 23, 2007

Yes, I see what you mean — I have finally understood your real problem!

For the superscript question, yes, I don't know if there is a simple solution to that one.

I have found Autocorrect to be very variable, and it only seems to work after you've typed a certain number of characters, so that might explain why it won't work with Dragon.

Yes, your custom keyboard shortcuts certainly wouldn't work in s-&-r; you might find all you need to do is s-&-r setting the font to 'Symbol'?

Personally, I've been using the Alt + [num] shortcuts for so long, they too have become second nature, so I'm sure you'd find you'd soon have them at your finger-tips after a short learning curve!

Good luck, in any case!


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Brie Vernier  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:55
German to English
Autocorrect Mar 24, 2007

Claire Cox wrote:

As for the m/s metres per second, yes, I can dictate it, then do a global replace, but I just wondered why Autocorrrect wasn't working with Dragon - maybe it needs the space actually typed after the word for that to kick in. That's probably a question for the speech recognition forum! It's all pretty new to me, I'm afraid.


Hi Claire,

I have no experience with DNS or other speech recognition software, so I don't know if that is part of your problem, but yes, Word doesn't AutoCorrect a phrase until a following space or punctuation mark is entered. Otherwise it can't "know" whether you've finished typing that particular entry or whether you're typing something very similar that shouldn't be affected by the AutoCorrect command.

Hope that helps! As I plan to try out DNS soon, I'd be interested to read whether you find a solution for the symbols.

Cheers--

Brie


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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 02:55
Member
French to English
+ ...
Sub / super script Mar 24, 2007

Once again here, presumably you can dictate anything you like, so if you said 'super two', for example, you could easily do a s-&-r for that and replace it with ², without running the risk of supering ALL figure 2s in the doc! I presume there will only be a limited range of figures for which you need to do it, so the number of s/r iterations shouldn't be too irksomely long.

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Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:55
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I wonder.. Mar 24, 2007

Hello again Tony,

The only problem with that is I'd have to say Cap U sub 2 Cap O sub 3 and the dragon is having enough problems recognising individual letters that I'd probably end up with randon strings like You sub two oh sub three - but not necessarily always the same, so it would probably be easier to type it in each time! I can't think my accent is that unusual, but it really has problems with individual letters. I wondered if there was some sort of macro I could run to change U2O3 to the subscript form? Not that I know anything about macros, but I'm sure there are people who do!

Thanks for all your help,

Claire


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Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:55
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Mar 24, 2007

Hi Brie,

I thought that might be the case with Autocorrect. I think I may post the subscript/superscript query on the speech recognition forum and see if anyone there has a solution.
I've only been using DNS properly for a week or so and I'm quite impressed on the whole. It's just unfortunate that my text is full of symbols and equations, but I can certainly whizz through the straight text.

Good luck if you decide to go for it. My main reason for trying it was to alleviate my chronic RSI and it's certainly doing that. Even if I have to type the symbols in, it's far better - and quicker - than typing in the 12,000 + words of the document itself.

Many thanks


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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 02:55
Member
French to English
+ ...
Workaround? Mar 24, 2007

I just wonder if you can't 'invent' other words that it won't mis-recognize? It doesn't matter, after all, what they are, so you could say 'upsilon' for 'U', for example...

I realize you are pushing more work to the s-&-r stage, but at least you wouldn't end up with garbage that you'd have to sift through painstakingly by hand.

Depends just how many different letters, supers and subs you have, of course...

I was interested to read about your RSI issue; that could be a help for me too, especially as my typing is appalling at the best of times...! So I might kill two birds with one stone, as it were!

I just have this awful fear that my text would be littered with ripe expletives...


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Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:55
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
RSI Mar 24, 2007

Hi Tony,

Sorry, that'll teach me to type with Dragon open - it obviously recognised some spurious command and zapped off my reply before I'd barely got to the text!

Yes, I've suffered with tennis elbow (gardening-induced NOT tennis) for years, but it had gone so much worse of late, and it slowly dawned on me that my volume of work had increased from part time to full time (and the rest....) coinciding with my divorce and my youngest son going to secondary school and that my aching arm was actually probably more to do with overuse of my mouse fingers and two-finger typing! Having changed my keyboard, chair, got a footrest etc, but all to no avail, I finally thought I'd better take the plunge and try voice recognition software. I used to dictate in the days when I first started out as a staff translator, but of course it all went down to the typing pool then - with varied results! Come to think of it, I probably had problems dictating U3O8 then too! I remember how horrified we were when it was first mooted that we should get computers (IBM Displaywtite, if I remember) and type our own, but in no time at all it seemed second nature. Now it's come full circle, I suppose. Apart from these niggles with characters, I think it will be a boon so I'm sure it's worth a try if you're suffering.

Claire


[Edited at 2007-03-24 17:37]


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