If you have blocks of text that you need typed out frequently in your documents, you can use AutoText in Word to insert them by typing a short code instead. The following articles discuss utilizing AutoText in Word, storing entries efficiently, and more. Once you understand AutoText, inserting blocks of text into your document will be a snap.

Tips, Tricks, and Answers

The following articles are available for the 'AutoText' topic. Click the article''s title (shown in bold) to see the associated article.

   Adding an AutoText Entry
Creating custom AutoText entries is not only extremely helpful, but very easy. This tip explains how.

   AutoText Behaving Erratically
The AutoText feature of Word is a great tool for adding common text or phrases with a minimum of fuss. What do you do if the AutoText entries don't behave as you expect them to behave? This tip describes a few things you can check to solve any erratic behavior you may notice.

   AutoText Entries Don't Stick
AutoText can be a great tool, but it is of little worth if you can't get Word to remember the AutoText entries you create. This tip examines some of the things you can check out if your AutoText entries disappear each time you restart the program.

   AutoText Limits
Are there limits to AutoText entries in Word? If you are having problems saving entries, it may not be due to limits imposed by Word.

   AutoText Unavailable in Headers and Footers
When you are creating headers and footers for your document, you might want to use some of your AutoText entries. What if those entries aren't available to you, however?

   Backing Up Your AutoText Entries
Got a bunch of AutoText entries defined for your system? You'll undoubtedly want to back them up at some time. Here's how to do it.

   Changing Fonts for AutoText Entries
If you use AutoText entries a lot, you may wonder if you can change the formatting stored with your existing entries. The answer lies with Word's inability to allow any editing of AutoText entries.

   Creating an AutoText List
The AUTOTEXTLIST field is one of those esoteric fields that you may know nothing about. The cool thing it does is allow you to define a drop-down list that automatically displays options based on AutoText entries in your document.

   Creating an AutoText Reference List
Need a fast, easy way to come up with a list of all the AutoText entries that you've defined? This tip presents two ways to achieve the same result, and both are fast and easy.

   Creating Custom AutoText Categories
Want to categorize your AutoText entries? You can easily do so using the techniques described in this tip.

   Defining Protected Sections as AutoText
AutoText is a very useful tool. But what if the text you want to use when creating an AutoText entry is protected and you want it to remain protected when you paste it into Word? This tip explains this concept and its limitations.

   Deleting an AutoText Entry
At some point you may want to delete an AutoText entry you previously created. Here are the steps to follow.

   Deleting Multiple AutoText Entries
AutoText is a great feature in Word; it helps you put together documents quickly. If you need to delete multiple AutoText entries all at the same time, Word makes it easy by using the Organizer.

   Designing Standard Tables
If you have a common table layout that you want to use again and again, you'd benefit by having an easy way to save that layout. The easiest way is to use either AutoText or Word 2007's building blocks.

   Different AutoText Entries in Header and Footer
With lots of AutoText entries defined in your system, you may wonder why you can't see all of the ones you need when creating a header or footer. The reason is rooted in how Word handles "styled" AutoText entries, as described in this tip.

   Easily Backing Up AutoText Entries
Many people use AutoText to enhance their use of Word. If you've invested significant time in customizing AutoText to make it more productive for you, then you should be interested in backing up your AutoText entries so you can safeguard them.

   Editing an AutoText Entry
Once you've created an AutoText entry, you may believe that it is "set in stone" and cannot be changed. Not so! You can redefine it very easily using the steps in this tip.

   Editing AutoText Entries Directly
Editing AutoText entries, and particularly deleting them, can be cumbersome if you have a lot of changes to make. There are a couple of easier ways you can get rid of lots of unwanted AutoText entries, as described in this tip.

   Extra Spaces after AutoText Substitutions
AutoText is a great tool for inserting standard information in your documents. It is also possible, however, to get results that you don't quite expect from the AutoText entries you create. Attention to the smallest details can be important, as exemplified in this tip.

   Insert AutoText Tool Unavailable on Header and Footer Toolbar
When creating headers or footers, you might notice at some time that the "Insert AutoText" tool on the Header and Footer toolbar is not available. This can be bothersome if you really want to add an AutoText entry to your header or footer. Here's why this happens.

   Inserting Text with a Shortcut Key
The AutoText capabilities of Word are quite powerful, allowing you to insert all sorts of "boilerplate" information in your document. Expanding an AutoText entry is easy when you use the F3 key, but there are ways you can create special shortcut keys for individual AutoText entries.

   Macro-Inserted AutoText Doesn't Set Style
Inserting AutoText from a macro can give unwanted results, particularly when it comes to any style that may be stored with the AutoText entry. The solution is to make sure your macro uses the RichText parameter, as described in this tip.

   Organizing AutoText Entries
Want to get more organized with your AutoText entries? Here's how you can take advantage of the organizational features built right into Word.

   Quickly Inserting the Date Your Way
Tired of messing with inserting the date and then changing it to a format that is more to your liking? There's a quick way you can set up Word to allow you to enter dates in just the manner that you want, as described in this tip.

   QuickWords in Word
WordPerfect users coming to Word may miss a feature called QuickWords. This tip examines some ways you can get around the lack of this feature in Word.

   Recovering Macros and AutoText Entries from
Many of your custom configurations of Word—most notably macros and AutoText entries—are stored in the template. When you try to move these entries from one system to another, you could run into problems. This tip explains what to do if trying to transfer macros and AutoText entries causes your system to hang.

   Renaming an AutoText Entry
There are a couple of ways that you can rename an existing AutoText entry. This tip describes the techniques you can use, along with the caveats.

   Restoring or Recreating AutoText Entries
When you first install Word, it includes a number of pre-defined AutoText entries. If you delete any of these entries (either on purpose or by mistake), you may wonder how you can get them back. This tip explains a couple of things you can try to get what you need.

   Saving AutoText Entries with Each Document
AutoText can be a great way to add consistent, common text to a document. Unfortunately, you cannot save AutoText entries with an individual document. Instead, you need to focus on saving them in templates, as described in this tip.

   Sharing AutoText Entries
AutoText entries can make your writing more productive, if used effectively. Because of this, it can be advantageous for all the people in a workgroup to have access to the same set of AutoText entries. This tip provides some guidance on how you can implement a sharing plan for your group.

   Sharing AutoText Entries in a Network
Creating AutoText entries can be a great way to improve your productivity with Word. At some point you may want to share those entries with others. Here are some ideas on how you can do the sharing.

   Store Common Addresses in AutoText Entries
Do you write letters to lots of different people? One good place to keep those addresses is in AutoText entries. They are easy to create by applying the techniques discussed in this tip.

   Storing AutoText Entries with a Document
AutoText entries can provide quite a bit of flexibility and power in a document. If you want to share those entries with others, you need to remember that the entries are stored in templates, not in documents. This tip explains how to go about sharing the desired entries with others.

   System Won't Save AutoText
In some instances, Word may actually refuse to save any of your AutoText entries in the template. There are a few things to check if this happens, with the most likely culprit being a conflict with Adobe Acrobat. This tip explains what you need to check.

   Table Borders not Stored in AutoText
Many people create tables and store those tables in AutoText entries for later use. If the formatting of those tables doesn't appear quite right when you later insert them into a document, it could be related to table styles, as described in this tip.

   Turning Off AutoComplete for Dates
The AutoComplete feature can be helpful. However, there are times when the suggestions Word makes aren't what you want. This tip explains why you can only turn the feature on or off, with no gradations in between.

   Using AutoText
AutoText is a timesaving feature that allows you to assign a word, phrase, paragraph, or graphic to a mnemonic name. Type the name, press a shortcut key, and the mnemonic is replaced with the word, phrase, paragraph, or graphic. Discover how you can take advantage of this powerful tool.

   Using the Organizer to Manage AutoText
There are times you need to move your AutoText entries from one template or document to another. Use Organizer to do this with ease.

   Wrong Suggested Date
When you start to type a date into a document, Word helpfully suggests a full date that you can accept. The result is easier and faster data entry. What if, however, the date that is suggested is actually yesterday's date instead of today's? This tip explains how this seeming error can occur and what you can do about it.

This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.


FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.