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Creating an AutoText List

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Creating an AutoText List.

The AutoText feature of Word is quite powerful, allowing you to assign common blocks of text to shorter mnemonic names you define. If you use AutoText quite a bit, you may be interested in creating a drop-down list of AutoText entries in your document. This is done most easily through the use of the AUTOTEXTLIST field.

For example, lets say you have an area of your document where you want the reader to select from several different AutoText entries that can be inserted in a particular spot. You can follow these steps:

  1. Position the insertion point where you want the drop-down list to appear.
  2. Press Ctrl+F9 to insert a pair of field braces. The insertion point should be between the braces.
  3. Enter your field so that it appears as shown here:
  4. { AUTOTEXTLIST "[Pick an Entry]" }
  5. With the insertion point still within the field (between the braces), press F9. Word collapses the field, and you see the text [Pick an Entry].

At this point, anyone that right-clicks on the text ([Pick an Entry]) will see a listing of all the AutoText entries that have been defined, provided they use the same style as the paragraph in which the field is located. Thus, if the paragraph where you entered the AUTOTEXTLIST field is in a paragraph formatted as Body Text, only those AutoText entries that utilize the Body Text style will be listed. If there are none that use the style, then all of the AutoText entries appear in the listing.

If the user then picks an AutoText entry from the listing, that entry replaces the field.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (549) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Creating an AutoText List.

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Comments for this tip:

Charles R.    29 Jul 2015, 01:31
This seems like a GREAT options. How is this better/worse from a Building Block Gallery Content Control found in the Developer tab? Is there a similar command for Quick Parts (vs. AutoText?)
Robbi Casey    23 Jun 2015, 17:28
I would like to know if it is possible to add a multi-pick list in Wood 2007. for example : where someone completing the form has 11 options to choose from and wants to choose 8 of the 11. I know I can do it with boxes, but is there another way?
Joy    03 Dec 2013, 09:32
Hi there - (in Word 2010) ...
1 Is the only way to remove an entry from the list to delete it from the Gallery?

2 How do you get rid of the last entry on the list - i.e. Create Autotext?

3 If I create a new Autotext from the dropdown list using the Create Autotext, it displays and can be selected but does not display in the document?

Please help - tx!

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