AutoText Limits

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 19, 2017)

Debbie asked if there was a limit to the number or size allotment for AutoText entries in a Word template. It seems that Debbie was having problems editing her AutoText entries and getting her edits to "hold."

Technically, there are limits that affect AutoText entries. I say "technically" because the limits are so high that most people (probably 99.99%) will never reach them. For instance, according to various Knowledge Base articles, Word only limits the number of AutoText entries per template based on the available memory in your system and maximum file size allowed by Windows. In other words, you could (again, technically) have however many AutoText entries it takes to fill up a template file up to 32Mb in size.

Since the limits imposed by Word are not an issue in this case (Debbie only had 15 AutoText entries), then the problem of not being able to update must be caused by something different. You should first check to make sure that Word really isn't saving your AutoText updates. The easiest place to do this is by choosing AutoCorrect from the Tools menu, and then clicking on the AutoText tab. All your AutoText entries are easily visible in the dialog box.

You should also make sure that when you are saving your new AutoText entries, you are really saving them in the Normal.dot template. If you use the AutoText tab of the AutoCorrect dialog box, you can easily see where AutoText entries are being stored by using the Look In drop-down list.

If you still can't seem to save changes to AutoText, more than likely the culprit is one of the following (assuming that your AutoText entries are in Normal.dot):

  • A corrupted template file. Shut down Word and rename Normal.dot to something else, such as Normal.old. When you restart Word, it recreates Normal.dot for you. If you can now save and edit AutoText entries, you have solved the problem.
  • The template file is read-only. Shut down Word and check the file using Windows Explorer. If it is read-only, change it so the read-only attribute is turned off.
  • Overwritten template file. You have restored your system from backups, and overwritten Normal.dot. This would wipe out any AutoText entries made since the backup was created.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (886) 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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Transposing and Linking

Do you need to both transpose and link information you are pasting in a worksheet? It isn't as impossible to do as it appears ...

Discover More

Page Layout Zoom Settings

The zoom setting at which you view a document can sometimes be saved with a document. This tip explains how the zoom setting ...

Discover More

Moving Headings to the Next Page

Word provides a few ways you can adjust pagination to accommodate where you want your headings to appear. If you want ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More WordTips (menu)

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 ...

Discover More

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 ...

Discover More

Sharing AutoText Entries

AutoText entries can make your writing more productive, if used effectively. Because of this, it can be advantageous for all ...

Discover More
Subscribe

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

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is three minus 2?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


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.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

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.