by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 2, 2019)
AutoText entries are a great way to help speed up both data entry and data standardization in Word documents. As you create more and more AutoText entries, you may cast about for a way to print a list of those entries. This list could then be used as a "reference guide" to what entries are available on a system.
Word provides a quick way to print AutoText entries: On the Print dialog box choose AutoText Entries in the Print What drop-down list. However, the list that is printed may not be to your liking. (You may want the list formatted differently to meet your specific needs.)
One way to create the type of list you need is to change how you print it. Windows provides a generic print driver that allows you to make a plain-text file from any printout. If you look at the list of printer drivers installed on your system, you may see one called "Generic / Text Only." If you don't, go through the steps to add this printer driver. (The steps you follow depend on the version of Windows you are using; in all versions there should be a generic printer driver available called "Generic / Text Only.")
When you want to create your AutoText reference list, follow these steps:
Figure 1. The Print dialog box.
The output file is saved in the location you specified, using the name you specified. The file name extension is PRN. You can load this file into Word or into any other text editor; it is plain text. You can then format it as desired, as you would with any other document. When satisfied with your formatting, you can then print the document to create your reference list.
It should be noted that if you open the PRN file in Word, and you see a bunch of gibberish in the file, you probably didn't follow step 2 in the above steps. Only the Generic / Text Only printer driver will create a plain text file. If you use a different printer driver, the output file includes the codes necessary to control the printer—what you see as gibberish.
There are, of course, ways that you can create your reference list using macros. The following is an example of a macro that will step through all the open templates and construct a document consisting of all the AutoText entries in all those templates.
Sub ListEntries() Dim oTemplate As Word.Template Dim oEntry As Word.AutoTextEntry Dim strReport As String For Each oTemplate In Application.Templates strReport = strReport & oTemplate.FullName & vbCr For Each oEntry In oTemplate.AutoTextEntries With oEntry strReport = strReport & .Name & vbTab & .Value & vbCr End With Next strReport = strReport & String$(3, vbCr) Next With Application.Documents.Add.StoryRanges(wdMainTextStory) .Text = strReport End With End Sub
This macro is very simple; it could be expanded to perform more complex tasks, such as formatting the information added to the new document.
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