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: Storing Building Block Entries with a Document.

Storing AutoText Entries with a Document

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 30, 2011)

Rob has developed a document that contains a Word table that is used as a form for managing a project. Two cells in the table contain drop-down lists of alternatives using an AutoText entry. On Rob's machine the drop-down lists works perfectly. When he transfers the document to a network drive so it is accessible to others in his office, the drop-down list is no longer available. Rob would like this to work from others' machines, and is wondering what the trick is.

The trick is to understand that AutoText entries are not stored in documents; they are stored in templates. The default template in which they are stored is your Normal.dot template. Since this template is available only on your machine, the AutoText entries required for the form are available only on your machine, and not on others' machines.

The solution, then, is to create a new template that will be used in conjunction with your form document. Store this template on the network drive and make sure that the form document has this template attached (use Tools | Templates and Add-ins). Then, when you save the AutoText entries necessary to the form, save them in the special template.

Chances are good that when you create your AutoText entries, you will need to change how you do it. If you are used to choosing Insert | AutoText | New (or pressing Alt+F3) to define the entry, you won't be able to do that anymore. This is because the resulting Create AutoText dialog box does not allow you to specify where you want the AutoText entry saved; it always saves it in Normal.dot.

Instead, choose Insert | AutoText | AutoText to create your new AutoText entries. This displays the AutoText tab of the AutoCorrect dialog box. You can easily define entries here by entering a name and then, using the Look-In drop-down list, specify the special template that you attached to the document. When you click Add, the entry is saved in that template instead of in Normal.dot.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (298) 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: Storing Building Block Entries with a Document.

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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