It’s midterm week and what is wrong with Google Docs?


It’s midterm week right now, so I’m behind in my blogging. Apologies! I promise I’ll write a whole lot more when I get back.

Google Docs preferences

Google Docs preferences

In the meantime, here’s a little bug I’ve found in Google Docs, and it’s one that has come up recently, because I have been actively using this feature, and I’m not sure how it broke.

Google Docs has a great feature: automatic substitution. When you type “(c)” and then hit the spacebar, Google Docs immediately changes your “(c)” into a “©” like magic! There was one substitution I was using all the time, namely, the “–>” into “→” substitution.

I specifically remember having used it in January extensively in my notes.

If anyone has a tip or a clue as to how to fix this, that would be appreciated. Google’s documentation is lacking. I’ve done a few searches, and found nothing helpful.

Failure to replace

Failure to replace

I’ve checked my Google Docs preferences (see previous image) and the other substitutions work fine, but no matter what I do, I can’t get it to change my “–>” into a “→”.


    title = {It’s midterm week and what is wrong with Google Docs?},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2012-02-15,
    url = {}


Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "It’s midterm week and what is wrong with Google Docs?" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 15 Feb 2012. Web. 24 Mar 2018. <>


Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2012, Feb 15). It’s midterm week and what is wrong with Google Docs? [Web log post]. Retrieved from

3 responses to “It’s midterm week and what is wrong with Google Docs?”

  1. Tianmu says:

    I’m guessing at some point one of the variables is being processed as code. It might be that when you type –> it’s being seen as the HTML end of comment syntax. Interestingly, any shortcut that starts with ‘-‘ in that slot (haven’t tried the others), doesn’t work.

    If you change the shortcut to >>> instead, it works.

  2. Tianmu says:

    It is also interesting that the ‘<–' for the reverse arrow doesn't work.

  3. Murph E. says:

    Good idea with the >>>. I’m still curious about what happened with the –>, though. (It used to work!)

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