There are a couple of settings that I have changed in my copy of Microsoft Word that are a big help when I am typing a document in Hawaiian. Have any of you experienced the frustration of typing “i” in a Hawaiian sentence and have Microsoft Word automatically capitalize it? I see it all the time, and not only in Word documents. I’ve seen it in blog posts, Facebook status posts, and more.

Nānā I ke kumu

You can fix this, and other quirks that are encountered when typing in Hawaiian. Locate the “Auto-Correct” settings in Word. For Macintosh users (at least up to Word 2008), it is under the “Tools” menu. Scroll down the list of words that Word will auto-correct for you until you reach “i”. You’ll see this is where Word looks to and automatically converts all lower-case “i” that stand along into upper-case “I”. Select that line and simply click “Delete”. You can repeat this process for other words that are auto corrected.

I also deselect the first two choices above, “Correct TWo INitial CApitals” and “Capitalize First Letter of Sentences” as it sometimes causes problems when I type in Hawaiian.

I’ll document some more settings that you may want to tweak in a future post.

Addendum: Kris Bordessa reported that she also experienced the auto-capitalization when the ‘okina is typed before the lower-case “i”, such as in “Hawai‘I”. As I had deleted that line in the Auto-Correct settings years ago (before Word even supported Unicode), I never encountered that problem. Good to know, and mahalo Kris!

One comment on “MS Word Tricks

Mokihana says:

I have found that if I just go back and type the “i” a couple of times Word will leave it alone. But I really appreciate the fix. Much easier!

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