Excel: AutoCorrect issue
Thread poster: Noura Tawil

Noura Tawil  Identity Verified
Syria
Local time: 06:13
Member (2013)
English to Arabic
+ ...
Dec 28, 2013

I'm working on a translation + Romanization project in Excel 2010. Many symbols are very frequently used, so I created a lot of AutoCorrect new entries for that purpose.
For example, I have a_ = ā

The problem is that the Auto correct does not work unless there's a space before that "a_". It doesn't work when these are in the middle or at the end of a word.
"a_hil" will be transformed into "āhil" in my Excel file, but words like "ba_hir" do not change into "bāhir" unless I inserted a space like this: "b a_hir" = "b āhir", then I'm obliged to go back and delete the inserted space, which is extremely time consuming.

Any idea how to fix this?

Thanks.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 05:13
Member (2003)
Danish to English
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Could you use search and replace instead? Dec 29, 2013

I don't know if this is practical, but I occasionally have a similar problem when the extra letters in the Danish alphabet are garbled. (æ, ø, å)

For me it is usually in the source text, and I run a 'search and replace' for each of the letters, as capitals and as small letters. It takes some time, but not as much as doing them all manually as you describe.

I then run a spelling check.


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Noura Tawil  Identity Verified
Syria
Local time: 06:13
Member (2013)
English to Arabic
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TOPIC STARTER
a hint Dec 29, 2013

Thanks for the suggestion, Christina. And it can work. But Romanizing Arabic is an extremely delicate and tricky process, and I need to see what I'm typing in real time for instant reviewing.

I tried to apply your suggestion in a few tens of phrases, then I reviewed everything, but on the second revision I noticed that some errors passed unnoticed by me during the first revision. This didn't happen when I was using my previously mentioned (prolonged and tiresome) method, perhaps because I was reading, typing, and reviewing twice, all successively for each phrase at a time.
Quality, of course, is what I care about most. And spell checking is not available for Arabic Romanization to catch these errors.

Perhaps Excel's AutoCorrection it's not designed to auto-correct one part of a word, but only complete words. Perhaps this is why it works when I put a "space" before the letters that I want to replace (auto-correct). Just a thought.

Hopefully someone has a solution.

[Edited at 2013-12-29 10:46 GMT]


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esperantisto  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:13
Member (2006)
English to Russian
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More details Dec 29, 2013

Noura Tawil wrote:

Perhaps Excel's AutoCorrection it's not designed to auto-correct one part of a word, but only complete words.


Yes, that’s correct. Generally, you should provide more details. In particular:
— what is your Romanization system, i. e. which special characters do you need?
— why Excel 2010?

To me, Excel is quite a strange option. This is not a word processor, respectively, its capabilities are limited. You also don’t specify your operating system. Is it Micro$oft Windows? Then it’s an utterly bad choice for such a task. For example, in Linux I can use so called compose sequences and/or the US (International) keyboard layout to type in virtually any character of virtually any Latin-based script. To type ā, I press consecutively Compose key - a. M$ Windows has no equivalent. You can only create a custom keyboard layout with special characters using MKLC.

And spell checking is not available for Arabic Romanization to catch these errors.


In Apache OpenOffice/LibreOffice, you can create such a dictionary, though it’s quite a time-consuming task.


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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 05:13
Member
French to English
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Avoid autocorrect Dec 29, 2013

Why can't you just use one of the many utilities that allow you to create custom keyboard shortcuts that ought to work right across all Windows apps.?

You ought to be able to find these easily by doing a quick Google search — indeed, they have been discussed before in ProZ.com fora.

You just assign certain specific key combinations (as you have been doing up till now) to the specific characters you are going to need — but in the Windows environment, not within MS Office etc.

Here is some information I found on the 'Net that might help:

Third-Party Software Options

These options will get you the closest to the Mac style. In Linux, you can setup what's called a "Compose Key" which behaves similary to the Mac method. For example, to type a lower-case acute e (é) you would do Compose Key, ', e. As a result, you can search for "compose key for windows" and arrive at most of these options.

freecompose — Works on Windows 2000 or better. This is what I personally use and recommend since it lets you add/remove/change the key-sequences.
AutoHotKey in combination with this script that @jay mentioned.
Unichars — also a AutoHotKey solution
AllChars

Side Note: Personally, I like to set my "Compose Key" to the Caps Lock key. But a lot of people use the Left Alt key.

(came from this page: http://superuser.com/questions/110605/how-do-i-type-accented-characters-in-windows )



[Modifié le 2013-12-29 11:23 GMT]


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Meta Arkadia
Local time: 10:13
English to Indonesian
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the Mac Style? Dec 29, 2013

Tony M wrote:
These options will get you the closest to the Mac style.

I have no idea what the "Mac style" is, but we Macs, we simply long-press the character (the "a" in this case), and most if not all diacritics varieties automagically show up. And it works in Excel as well. Now if you still don't have a Mac, you should be able to do this on your iPhone or iPad in SkyDrive. You don't have an iPhone or iPad either? Bad luck. If luck has anything to do with it.



Cheers,

Hans


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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 05:13
Member
French to English
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Stray posting... Dec 29, 2013

Meta Arkadia wrote:

The Mac style?


Well, actually, that was from the post in the thread I was quoting, I suppose I ought to have deleted it; if you visit the thread, you can see that someone started talking about the very thing you mention (on Macs), hence the suggestion for Windows of "getting closer to the Mac style".


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Meta Arkadia
Local time: 10:13
English to Indonesian
+ ...
iOS Dec 29, 2013

Tony M wrote:
I suppose I ought to have deleted it

Why, Tony? Anyway, I don't see how these suggestions come even close to the Mac solution.

Above, I mentioned you could use the same trick using the iPhone or the iPad (and even the iPod touch). I was bluffing. So I checked, and it's true. You don't even have to buy MS Office for it. Just subscribe to SkyDrive for free, and access MS Office with your browser.



Cheers,

Hans

[Edited at 2013-12-29 15:00 GMT]


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Noura Tawil  Identity Verified
Syria
Local time: 06:13
Member (2013)
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Details Jan 1, 2014

Thanks for your suggestions. As for more details, I'm using Windows7 (64-bit), and Office 2010.
Here are some of the needed characters: ā Ā ḍ Ḍ Ḥ ḥ ī Ī ṭ Ṭ ‘ Ū ū á ẓ.

Following some of the tips I received here, I downloaded AllChars, but the macros do not include my needed characters, and I couldn't figure out if I can add new characters, because the manual was outdated.
I also tried installing MKLC "suggested by esperantisto", but it didn't work out due to additional system requirements (.NET, which wasn't successfully installed for some reason).

My IT guy (my husband) is back home now, and perhaps we can work this out together.

I have already finished and delivered the project in my previously described time consuming turnaround. But I would really benefit from a quicker way for future projects.


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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 05:13
Member
French to English
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Word macro Jan 1, 2014

As you presumably have a fairly well defined set of characters to process, which all appear to be in the Unicode character set, I'd have thought you could do it in a Word macro; I don't know if you can use a similar macro in Excel or not, but copying back and forth between Word and Excel ought not to be a problem, I'd have thought?

A friend of mine wrote a nifty little program that I actually used to use for pre-translating some very repetitive texts, where I gave it a word list (manually compiled) and by running the program on my document before I started translating, it searched-&-replaced for any words in my 'dictionary'.

I realize you may not be able to do this if you are going direct from Arabic script into romanized Arabic, but I'd have thought the individual macro solution for each character ought to be feasible, if you are in fact typing the romanized version in directly, which I am assuming you must be doing?

This use of a macro should circumvent the autocorrect problem you've highlighted.

OK, I've just done a little test, and in my older version of Word (still under W7), it worked fine — in Word

I tried creating, for example, Ḥ — the Unicode code for this is 1E24 followed by Alt + x

So under Tools > Macros, I went to 'record new macro', named it 'Hdot', assigned it to the keyboard, and then gave it the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + H followed by . I then stopped recording, and now when I type Ctrl + H then ., it types the Ḥ character for me.

The actual code for the macro looks like this, though you probably won't ever need to know that, unless you need to go in and edit it (unlikely, for something so simple!)

Sub Hdot()
'
' Hdot Macro
' Macro recorded 01/01/2014 by Tony
'
Selection.TypeText Text:="1E24"
Selection.ToggleCharacterCode
End Sub


You should relatively easily be able to do this for each of the characters you regularly need, preferably when you're not working up to a tight deadline, and then it will be safely stored in your 'normal.dot' template for future use; note that if you work on a document based on another template, you might need to copy across to that template all the macros you've recorded.

HTH!


[Modifié le 2014-01-01 22:37 GMT]


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