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What the &*#$% is a 501©(3)?

Among its many endearing features, Microsoft Word in its off-the-shelf configuration will automatically reformat the characters (c) into the copyright symbol, ©. Here are simple instructions to stop this from happening so you can freely litter your prose with talk of 501(c)(3)s, 501(c)(4)s, 501(c)(5)s, all the way up to and including 501(c)(28).  (The National Railroad Retirement Investment Trust, if you’re curious.) 

MS Word 2003

Select the “Tools” menu, and on that choose “AutoCorrect Options.”  In the dialogue box that pops up, highlight the AutoCorrect tab.  In the blank box under “Replace” type (c).  This will highlight the entry that automatically replaces (c) with ©.  If you want to keep a shortcut for ©, enter a different set of symbols, such as (cr), or anything else you’re not likely to type unless you really mean ©.  Then click on the “add” button.  If you never want to bother with ©, just highlight the entry and click the “delete” button. 

Another more drastic option is to uncheck the box next to “Replace text as you type.”  This will disable all of these nifty shortcuts. 

MS Word 2007

Click on the silly multi-colored square design in the top left corner.  From there, select the “Word Options” button, and then “proofing” from the menu, then click the button for “AutoCorrect Options.”  Proceed as above.

MS Word 2010

In the “Ribbon”, select “File” then click on “Options” close to the bottom of the list that displays.  From the menu in the pop-up box select “Proofing”, then click the button for “AutoCorrect Options.”   Make any desired changes. 



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