I'm wondering if anyone knows of a plug-in for MS Word which can handle key-presses of surrounding keys when typing at speed (rather like iPhone or Android autocorrect)?

My use case is in transcribing interviews where I need to type quickly (even with the playback at half speed) - but I don't do this often enough to become a proficient touch typist. I will also be paying close attention to the text produced in subsequent analysis so I have a reasonable expectation that I'll catch any "hilarious" autocorrect errors.

Any pointers to plug-ins which work at either a system level or within MS Word would be great. Even in an open source word processor at a pinch, though I'd miss the MS Word environment and my macros.


1 Answer 1


Microsoft Word already has a very good built-in feature for this called AutoCorrect. If you don't have it on already then enable it. Make sure in the options menu that most of the boxes are ticked including the "Automatically use suggestions from the spell checker".

This particular sub feature sounds very useful to you as it should pick the closest word from the dictionary and replace it while you are typing. Word is fairly good at picking the correct word even when the input it mangled. Also this behavior won't be too much of a risk since you state you double check your transcript carefully :)

EDIT: Since Microsoft Word's auto correct feature only corrects words it's already familiar with, you could build on this functionality and go one step further so every incorrect word is replaced with the first suggestion from the dictionary. Since Microsoft Word is pretty good at picking the correct words when they are slightly misspelled you should have a good success rate with this.

You can include this macro in your document and have it run at start up every X number of seconds. It will replace any misspelled words with the first suggestion from the dictionary.

Sub AutoSpellCheck()
    Dim oSE As Range
    Dim oSC
    For Each oSE In ActiveDocument.Range.SpellingErrors
        Set oSC = oSE.GetSpellingSuggestions
        If oSC.Count > 0 Then
        oSE.Text = oSC(1)
        End If
    Next oSE
End Sub
  • Thanks for the answer. I already have AutoCorrect enabled, but it doesn't seem to handle adjacent key presses, just missing letters, repeated letters and letters out of order. In this the Word AutoCorrect is actually much better than smartphone autocorrect which isn't very good if the word you want has more or fewer letters than you actually typed. I'm just surprised that it doesn't handle the sort of typical typing at speed missed keys too. Has anyone checked this out in Word 2013?
    – Jamie Bull
    Dec 7, 2012 at 11:18
  • 1
    @Jamie, thanks. I took a closer look and found that Word auto correction feature will only automatically replace a misspelled word if it's been explicitly been told the correct spelling already i.e if you have already corrected the misspelled word once before. You could instead try a macro to check for misspelled words and replace with the first suggestion. I've edited my original post to expand on this.
    – Adam
    Dec 7, 2012 at 12:58

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