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: Defining Protected Sections as a Building Block.

Defining Protected Sections as AutoText

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 20, 2021)

Robert uses AutoText to put together portions of his documents, using "boilerplate" text that is contained within the various AutoText entries he has defined. He needs a way to paste a protected section into a document—preferably as an AutoText entry—that is, once inserted, already protected. In other words, he doesn't want to have to do an insert and then protect the section he just inserted as a separate step.

From our testing it does not appear that there is any way to do this. If you protect a section of a document, you can't even select that section in order to create an AutoText entry based on that selection. This makes it impossible to do what is described.

Of course, you might think that saving your protected section as its own document and then using Insert | File to insert the document might be a way to add protected boilerplate text. This approach doesn't work either; Word apparently strips out all the protection from the file that is inserted. (The section breaks are still there, but any document protection is removed.)

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8213) 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: Defining Protected Sections as a Building Block.

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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