Handy Microsoft Word tip plus bonus Imperial Units Rant

I just found this out in Microsoft Word, and it is pretty freaking awesome. If I write something (or more likely copy something) with weird units like miles, or inches, or chains, or whatever; I can get Word to fix this error in outdated units for me. Check it out:

word convert

Just highlight the offending units (including the numbers), right-click, and select the Additional Actions menu. Simple. Click on whatever units you want, and Word will replace the text and you are done. I don’t know why it gives two options which do the exact same thing, but I am willing to ignore the double up due to the sheer usefulness of this feature.

I think this will be most useful when I deal with documents that have temperatures, because Fahrenheit is just plain crazy. With miles at least I can have some sort of idea as it is just a proportion. I know a mile is just over one and a half times a kilometre, so I can get a rough idea.

This however cannot be done with temperature, not only are the units different sizes (i.e. a change of 1°F is different to that of 1°C), but the starting points are all off. When 32° F is mentioned I think, “man; that’s a hot day” (and not just because I am from Ballarat, and anything over 20° for me is too hot), and then I see pictures of people frolicking around in blizzards and make a Jackie Chan meme face.

Jackie Chan Meme

0° Celsius makes much more sense. It is zero degrees; you don’t have any degrees to warm yourself up.

Fahrenheit frustrations aside however, I was amused the other day when Harrison and I were watching a nature documentary set in an Arctic region and the Mighty Attenborough said something along the lines of:

Temperatures here can fall as low as negative 40 degrees.

“Is that proper degrees or Fahrenheit” my son asked.

(You can see that I have indoctrinated him well to my anti-Fahrenheit prejudice when he calls them proper degrees, and not Celsius)

We did our standard Siri-investigation and were surprised to discover that actually it doesn’t matter; -40 Celsius = -40 Fahrenheit. So at least that is one example of a unit in a documentary that is truly accessible to all, regardless of if you use proper units, or imperial monstrosities.


P.s. as an atrocious speller, I have to point out that Fahrenheit , like manoeuvre, is a word that I struggle so hard to spell that even my best attempts leave spell check unable to understand what it is I am trying to say.