Editing AutoText Entries Directly

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 14, 2013)

Nathan finds it bothersome to continually display the AutoText tab of the AutoCorrect dialog box when he wants to edit a series of AutoText entries. He is wondering if there is perhaps some file or different way that he can make wholesale edits to the entries.

AutoText entries are stored in templates, most often in the Normal template. There is no special file that you can load up and edit directly. Instead, you need to use the tools that Word has provided for the purpose.

If all you need to do is delete a number of AutoText entries, one tool that will make the task easier is the Organizer. Follow these steps:

  1. Choose Templates and Add-Ins from the Tools menu. Word displays the Templates and Add-ins dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  2. Figure 1. The Templates and Add-ins dialog box.

  3. Click the Organizer button. Word displays the Organizer tool.
  4. Make sure the AutoText tab is displayed. Note that the right side of the Organizer should contain information for the Normal.dot file. If it does, skip to step 7. If it does not, or if your AutoText entries are in a different template than Normal.dot, continue with the next step. (See Figure 2.)
  5. Figure 2. The AutoText tab of the Organizer.

  6. Click the Close File button under the right side of the Organizer. This closes the information for the template.
  7. Click Open File. Word displays a standard Open dialog box.
  8. Use the controls in the dialog box to navigate to and open the template that contains your AutoText entries.
  9. In the list of AutoText entries on the right side of the Organizer, click the first entry you want to delete.
  10. Hold down the Ctrl key as you click on other AutoText entries you want deleted.
  11. When you have selected all the entries you want to delete, click the Delete button.
  12. You may be asked if you are sure you want to delete the entries; answer Yes.
  13. Close the Organizer.

Another way to delete lots of AutoText entries is to use a macro. The following macro provides a simple way to step through each AutoText entry and make a decision as to whether you want to delete it or not.

Sub DeleteAutoTextEntries()
    Dim I As AutoTextEntry
    Dim vAnswer As Variant

    For Each I In NormalTemplate.AutoTextEntries
        vAnswer = MsgBox("Delete AutoText Entry" & vbCr _
          & "Name: " & I.Name & vbCr _
          & "Value: " & I.Value, vbYesNoCancel, _
          "Delete AutoText Entries")
        Select Case vAnswer
            Case vbYes
                I.Delete
            Case vbCancel
                Exit Sub
        End Select
    Next I
End Sub

The macro assumes that the AutoText entries are in the Normal.dot template; if you have them in a different template, you can change the NormalTemplate reference so that a different template is used. The macro displays, in a dialog box, each AutoText entry and you have the chance to delete it or not. You can also click the Cancel button (or press Esc) and the macro is ended right away.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (325) 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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