Pattern Writing Short Cuts

I use MSWord to create most of my patterns and like to save time by not typing the same thing over and over again. To begin with, I use a template for my patterns that contains the most common elements of the pattern:

  • formatted titles
  • logo
  • standard headings (like Size, Yarn, Needles, Gauge, Method, Skills Used)
  • abbreviations
  • contact info

As I was once again looking up and typing in yarn information into a pattern yesterday – I thought, “Nuts!”  I can do this more efficiently. I talked earlier about using AutoCorrect in Word to enter knitting needle equivalents so, here I’m going to use the same Word feature to enter yarn information into my pattern.

I use the following format for listing yarn in my patterns:

Knit Picks Gloss Fingering (220 yds / 201 m per 1 ¾ oz / 50 g skein; 70% merino, 30% silk) in Robot

MSWord AutoCorrect

So, here’s how it I created an AutoCorrect entry so that all I have to do now is type 4 letters followed by a space and all of the above information is inserted into my document:

Click Tools, AutoCorrect Options…

MSWord Tools Menu

The AutoCorrections Dialog box opens.

Click the AutoCorrect tab.

AutoCorrect dialog box

In the “Replace:” box, type a unique short form for the yarn.
(I used kpgf – notice I used all lower case letters to make it easier to type in the short form.)

In the “With:” box, type (or copy from a previous document) the description for the yarn as you want it displayed in the document.
(When I copied the information from a previous pattern, I copied the information into Notepad first to strip any formatting codes that might?? cause issues.)

Click OK.

How to Use It:

In your pattern document type the short form and press the spacebar. Just like magic, the short-form text will disappear and all the yarn information you entered appears instead.

AutoCorrect result shown as "Before" and "After" screen captures

Hope it’s helpful 🙂


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