AutoText Unavailable in Headers and Footers

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 27, 2017)

Dale was having a problem with adding AutoText to his headers and footers. It seems that he routinely did this before, but now, after changing margins in his Normal template, the Insert AutoText option is grayed out on the Header and Footer toolbar.

The Insert AutoText tool is only accessible on the Header and Footer toolbar if there are AutoText entries that can be inserted. If there are none, then you can't click on insert AutoText. If you could use the Insert AutoText tool before, there are only two possible reasons why Word might not think there are any AutoText entries available.

First, Word might be looking in the wrong place for its AutoText entries. You can check to see where it is looking by following these steps:

  1. Make sure the Header and Footer toolbar is closed.
  2. Choose AutoText from the Insert menu, and then choose AutoText from the resulting submenu. Word displays the AutoCorrect dialog box with the AutoText tab selected. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The AutoText tab of the AutoCorrect dialog box.

  4. At the bottom of the dialog box, make sure the Look In drop-down list is set to All Active Templates.
  5. Click OK.

You should now be able to use the Insert AutoText tool in the Header and Footer toolbar. If you still can't, then this brings us to the second reason that it may not work: There are no AutoText entries for Word to use.

To check this out, perform the first two steps just listed. The AutoText tab of the AutoCorrect dialog box should still be visible. When you use the Look In drop-down list to choose either All Active Templates or Normal.dot, you should see a list of AutoText entries in the dialog box. If you don't, then there are none available.

If you had AutoText entries before and now you don't, the culprit is likely how you changed your Normal template. AutoText entries are stored in templates; most often in the Normal template. If you created a document from scratch and then saved it over your old Normal template, you wiped out all of your existing AutoText entries. Had you loaded the old Normal template file and modified it, instead of creating one from scratch, the AutoText entries would have remained. For complete information on how to successfully modify the Normal template, you may want to refer to this page at the Word MVP site:

http://wordmvp.com/FAQs/Customization/CustomizeNormalTemplate.htm

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (128) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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