by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 12, 2015)
Debbie reports that she is having problems saving AutoText on her Word 2003 system. She goes through the motions of saving, as normal, but then the entries are not available the next time she uses Word. It appears that they are not being saved in the Normal.dot template for some reason.
There are a couple of things to check. First, make sure that you are actually saving the new AutoText entries in the Normal.dot template. When you display the AutoText tab of the AutoCorrect dialog box (Insert | AutoText | AutoText), make sure that the Look In drop-down, at the bottom of the dialog box, is set either to All Active Templates or to Normal.dot (global template). Either setting will result in the new AutoText entry being saved in Normal.dot.
The lack of saving could also be due to other programs you have open at the current time. Some WordTips subscribers reported that they noticed the problem if they had Outlook open at the same time as Word, particularly if Outlook is set to use Word as the e-mail editor. Their solution was to restart their system and open only Word. After making the AutoText changes in Word, they were able to open Outlook and the AutoText entries were saved as expected.
If the entries still are not saved, it could actually be because of a glitch in the latest version (7) of Adobe Acrobat. It seems that Adobe modified version 7 so that it uses a COM module instead of a traditional add-in template. This module, while solving some problems inherent in previous versions of Acrobat, presented a big, new problem: It continually clears the "dirty" flag for the Normal.dot file. This means that as far as Word is concerned, there are never any changes to Normal.dot that need to be saved. Thus, when you exit Word, any changes you've made--including any new AutoText entries--are discarded. (This glitch is present when using Acrobat 7 with either Word 2002 or Word 2003.)
There are a couple of things you can do to get around this problem. The easiest solution is to use Save All after making any changes that affect Normal.dot. Thus, after adding your AutoText entries you should hold down the Shift key as you display the File menu. Select Save All, and any open documents and templates (including Normal.dot) are saved.
A more lasting solution is to update to a much later version of Acrobat (available at Adobe's Web site), as described here:
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (242) applies to Microsoft Word 2002 and 2003.
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