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Saving AutoText Entries with Each Document

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: Saving AutoText Entries with Each Document.

Karl uses AutoText to help create and maintain consistency in narrative appraisal reports. He has standard abbreviations for items and when he begins a job he edits the AutoText entries to set all the information relative to that job. Karl would like to save those entries with the job (the document) so he can easily make changes later using the information contained in the AutoText entries.

There are a couple of ways that this need can be handled in Word. All of the methods involve understanding how Word stores AutoText entries, so that is a good place to start.

AutoText entries are stored in templates; they are not stored in documents. When you create an AutoText entry it is, by default, stored in the Normal template. In the dialog box in which new AutoText entries are created you can specify where the entry should be stored; i.e., which template it should be placed into.

This presents a problem if your AutoText entries change on a job-by-job basis, and each job is represented by a single document. You can't store the entries with the document (which would admittedly be nice), but you could create an individual template for each job and then associate the template with the job document. Thus, each job would require two things—a template and a document.

The other thing to keep in mind is how Word arbitrates conflicts between templates when it comes to AutoText entries. Let's say you have an AutoText entry called "JobAddr" and it is stored in the job template. In the Normal template you also have an AutoText entry called "JobAddr." When you try to expand the entry, it is the definition in the Normal template that will always be used. This is because the Normal template always takes precedence over other templates. Thus, you will want to make sure that there are no conflicts between AutoText entries in the two templates. (You can do this by using the Organizer, described in other issues of WordTips, to examine the AutoText entries in the templates.)

Another approach that you could use is to still use a single document for each job that you work, but develop templates that reflect the type or category of job on which you are working. For instance, if you have a set of AutoText entries that are applicable to retail appraisals, you could create a template for those. If you have another set of AutoText entries for commercial appraisals and a third for residential, then you could create templates for each class of appraisal. In that way you could associate the appropriate template with each type of job you perform.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (6777) 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: Saving AutoText Entries with Each Document.

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