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Home > Books > Microsoft Office for the Older and Wiser > Disabling predictive text

How to turn off predictive text (autocomplete or autocorrect) in Excel and Word

Book cover: Microsoft Office for the older and wiser

By Sean McManus

Buy the book at Amazon.co.uk

I received an email from someone asking how to turn off the predictive text in Excel and Word, so I thought I'd write this article to explain how to turn it off. The reader writes: "It is driving me mad and nothing I have tried so far has worked to make it stop." If you're in the same boat, I hope this will help.

Turning off Autocomplete in Excel 2010

In Microsoft Excel, the predictive text feature is called Autocomplete. While you're typing content into a cell, Excel will automatically complete what you're typing if it looks like you're repeating something in a similar cell. You can just keep typing to override it, but it's easy to make a slip and end up with something you didn't want in there. To turn off Autocomplete in Excel 2010:

  1. Click the File tab in the top left.
  2. Click Options on the left. It's in smaller text, just above the red Exit button.
  3. In the new window that opens, click Advanced, on the left.
  4. Untick the box beside 'Enable AutoComplete for cell values'. It's about half way down.
  5. Click OK in the bottom right of the options menu.

Turning off Autocomplete in Excel 2007

To turn off the predictive text/Autocomplete feature in Excel 2007, follow these steps:

  1. Click the round Office button in the top left. A new menu opens.
  2. Click Excel Options. It's hidden in the bottom right corner of the menu's frame, to the left of the Exit Excel button.
  3. In the new window that opens, click Advanced, on the left.
  4. Untick the box beside 'Enable AutoComplete for cell values'. It's about half way down.
  5. Click OK in the bottom right of the options menu

Turning off AutoCorrect in Word 2010

In Microsoft Word, there is a feature that will change your words as you type to correct what Word believes are spelling errors. This type of predictive text is called AutoCorrect. Most of the time, AutoCorrect is a big help, but you can turn it off if you prefer. There's more information on how to use the proofing and spelling tools in Microsoft Word in my book Microsoft Office for the Older and Wiser, but here's a quick guide to turning off AutoCorrect:

  1. Click the File tab in the top left.
  2. Click Options on the left. It's in smaller text, just above the red Exit button.
  3. In the new window that opens, click Proofing, on the left.
  4. Click AutoCorrect Options, near the top of the right panel of that window. A new window will open.
  5. Untick the box beside 'Replace text as you type'. You can also untick options for changing two initial capitals to be just one, capitalising the first letter of sentences, capitalising names of days and capitalising the first letter of table cells.
  6. Click OK in the bottom right AutoCorrect window. You should see two OK buttons on screen, and you have to click the one on the smaller window first.
  7. Click OK in the bottom right of the options menu.

Turning off AutoCorrect in Word 2007

To stop Microsoft Word changing what you write in Word 2007, follow these steps to turn off AutoCorrect:

  1. Click the round Office button in the top left. A new menu opens.
  2. Click Word Options. It's hidden in the bottom right corner of the menu's frame, to the left of the Exit Word button.
  3. In the new window that opens, click Proofing, on the left.
  4. Click AutoCorrect Options, near the top of the right panel of that window. A new window will open.
  5. Untick the box beside 'Replace text as you type'. You can also untick options for changing two initial capitals to be just one, capitalising the first letter of sentences, capitalising names of days and capitalising the first letter of table cells.
  6. Click OK in the bottom right AutoCorrect window. You should see two OK buttons on screen, and you have to click the one on the smaller window first.
  7. Click OK in the bottom right of the options menu.

Find out more about Microsoft Office

My book Microsoft Office for the Older and Wiser is out now. Through a series of projects, it shows you how to make the most of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. You'll learn how to design letters, posters and newsletters; how to work out your holiday budgets and manage your address book with Excel; how to create a photo album with PowerPoint; and how to keep a recipe book using OneNote. There's a bonus chapter showing you how you can use email to keep in touch with friends, too. Find out more about Microsoft Office for the Older and Wiser.

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©Sean McManus. www.sean.co.uk.