College shorthand

People sometimes asked me how I type so fast (about 80 – 125 words per minute or wpm), depending on how fast my brain is thinking and how fast the words are flowing.

On a blog, I just type whole sentences because it’s as if I’m speaking. But when I do an essay or a paper, I type much slower because I need to think.

But in college, to go even quicker than my normal typing, instead of recording the professor like some of my other nerdier friends did, I still managed to get every single word of what a professor was saying (or at least, the relevant bits), by making Microsoft Word recognize my shorthand.

For example:

  • b/ = between
  • irl = in real life
  • e(x) = expect
  • e(x)g = expecting

… and so on. This shorthand made sense to only me, and I’d even write in it sometimes, and have friends who tried to borrow my notes say: “WTF is this code you’re writing in?!”


Anyway, any time I typed in “b/” for example, instead of keeping it as “b/”, Microsoft word recognized it as “between” and immediately substituted the full word in without my having to type it all out, or do a Find and Replace.

What you have to do, is creatively use Microsoft’s Autocorrect Options.

In Windows 2007:


By the way, I HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE Microsoft Office 2007.

Stick with MS Office 2003 if you can. It’s SO irritating to re-learn a new, sexified layout that these Microsoft idiots think is what PC users want after years of having a plain, simple, ugly layout that made sense to us.

Now I have to hunt for the damn Options button because they got RID of the menu bar to make it look cleaner at the top instead of keeping my beloved: File | Edit | View | Options | Etc…

No, dumbasses, we want functionality and for things NOT to change just because you want to go all Apple on us. If we want a Macbook, we’ll buy one.


How to get to AUTOCORRECT in Windows Options in MS Word 2007

Right-click on one of the tabs at the top like “Review”
Select: Customize Quick Access Toolbar
Click on: Proofing
Click on the button: Autocorrect Options

As you can see in this example below, I put “b/” to always autocorrect as “between”

You can add in your entire library of shorthand now, and when you type b/, it will always autocorrect to between.

Once, I was typing all in shorthand, and my friend sitting behind me was gawking at my screen because I’d be typing in a 3 letter word and it would immediately turn into a 9 or 10 letter word almost like magic.

He thought I was like some sort of crazy whiz on a keyboard, he had never seen anyone type so fast.. LOL!!!! I didn’t have the heart to tell him I was using Autocorrect and spoil the illusion 😉

So all of you who type a lot, what do you think?
Do you have an alternative you use?

About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.