Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Find Dialogue Box and your writing

A month ago, I used my word processor's “find and replace” dialogue box to add a period after every instance of the abbreviation, Dr. It was simple task and I thought that I had a handle on it. Then I saw the results—452 instances were found in my manuscript—and changed! Oops!

After mouthing the number “four hundred and fifty-two,” several times, I checked on the results. Using the “Find dialogue box I typed in Dr. And hit the search button. It did correct the word Dr, changing it to Dr. It also added “Dr.” to every word that had a “dr” in it such as drink (, drying (Dr.ying) and hundred (hunDr.ed). You guessed it; I had to go back and manually change each error.

After researching this problem on the internet, I found out that Microsoft Word 2007 (my word processor) has an expanded menu that prevents this type of mistake. Below is the “Find and Replace” dialogue box.

Look at the bottom left and see the “More>>” button. When you click it, the box expands. It is set up correctly to find and replace Dr with Dr. However it will also replace every instance of Dr or dr with Dr. Pressing the more button opens up a menus (see below).

Placing a check mark next to “Find whole words only” will save your sanity and replace only Dr with Dr. Isn’t computing fun.

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