Save the keys!: Novel applications of "Search and Replace"

Do you ever find yourself typing the same name or phrase throughout a document?  Don't you wish there was a way to do it with a couple key strokes?  There is!  You simply type in a "temporary" form of shorthand.

For example, in making exams where I have to type "E) None of the above." several dozen times, I substitute that string of text with "xxx".  When I am finished with the entire document, I simply go under Edit to the "Find/Change" or "Search/Replace" and replace "xxx" with "E) None of the above."

Why "xxx"?  Because those two letters are not likely to occur next to one another anywhere else in the body of your document (unless this happens to be a biology exam on sex-linked inheritance).  By contrast, if you had chosen "th" to represent your phrase "the" , "them", and "those" would be replaced (in part) as well.

This can be a great time saver.  As an undergrad, I once had to write a paper on Agamemnonn from the Illiad and could not remember how to spell that name without the book in front of me.  I simply typed "xxx" throughout the paper and ran a search and replace when I was finished.

If you have multiple phrases to repeat you can use multiple odd combinations of letters and have a key handy at the top of your document such as:

xxx = Agamemnonn*
yyy = Odyseus*
zzz = Helen of Troy
Hopefully this will allow you to keep your mind on your writing instead of your typing.

*Spelling, of course, varies according to the translation.  Translators sometimes go out of their way to create original spellings of well-known names, thereby establishing (they hope) a trademark for themselves.  The above spellings were used in the copy of the Illiad I happened to have handy.





Copyright Efficiency Ale[x]pert.

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