I was using MS Excel and a question arose concerning input auto-correction: when is the right time for it?
Some context first: as I'm in France the comma (
,) is used as decimal separator. Thus when I enter some data in an Excel cell using the numeric keypad, any stroke on the . (Del) key is automatically replaced by a comma in the entered data, which is good when I'm actually entering a decimal value:
but no so good if I'm typing, for example, an IP address:
I've experienced the same frustration using some text editors when suspected spelling errors are auto-corrected while I'm typing, but once the phrase is complete the software detects a grammatical error on this auto-corrected word that I have to change back...
Would it not be better to correct what the user is entering when there is more context? For the Excel example the
. character could be kept until the input is validated by the user and once it can effectively be evaluated as a decimal. Would it not be better yet to correct the auto-correction if an error is due to an auto-correction?
I'm curious about the best practices to be followed here.