Microsoft Word Tips: AutoCorrect and AutoText - Page 2

By Helen Bradley
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All About AutoText
The AutoText feature in Microsoft Word 2003 and earlier versions, is in many ways, more powerful even than AutoCorrect. While AutoCorrect works only for text, you can use AutoText to insert images or text. In addition, you have a little bit more control over the behavior of AutoText because it is an optional, not automatic, replacement. You can also organize AutoText entries into sub-menus on the AutoText menu so you can see the entries available and select them from the list.

Auto Text screen shot
AutoText entries can include images and graphics.
(Click for larger image)

To create an AutoText entry for, say, your company logo, insert the logo into a document then size it to suit. Select the logo and choose Insert > AutoText > New and type a name for the AutoText entry. Click OK to confirm your choice. To add the logo to your document in the future, type the name of the AutoText entry and, provided it is longer than a few characters in length, you will see a small popup dialog indicating that you can press Enter to insert the AutoText entry.

If the dialog does not appear, press the F3 key when you've typed the entry name to replace the name with the stored item. The tool tip will only appear when you have typed four or more characters that are sufficient to uniquely identify the AutoText entry.

Auto-text screen shot
By using a style, you can create a custom AutoText category.
(Click for larger image)

If you have a lot of AutoText entries, you can print a complete list of them by choosing File > Print and from the Print What dropdown list select AutoText Entries. Send the list to your printer or a PDF writer if you have one installed. When you do this, you'll find that Word has already created some AutoText entries for you. You can remove any you don't use by choosing Insert > AutoText > AutoText, select the AutoText entry to remove from the list and click Delete to delete it.

When you choose Insert > AutoText you will see a list of AutoText categories. You can allocate your own AutoText entry to a category of your own choosing, such as company name, closing, block quotation, etc. by using a style.

To do this, first create your AutoText entry. Now, in the Style box on the Formatting toolbar, type a style name for the category in the AutoText list into which you will add the AutoText entry. For example, I use a style called Helen Text to group all my personal AutoText entries. Now create your AutoText entry by selecting the text, and choose Insert > AutoText > New and give it a name.

In future, when you choose Insert > AutoText, you will see a new menu item with the name of the style that you applied to the text and your AutoText entries will be stored under that entry.

Envelope screen shot
Two specialized AutoText entry categories let you put details on envelopes.
(Click for larger image)

Special AutoText Entries
Microsoft Word provides two special AutoText entries called EnvelopeExtra1 and EnvelopeExtra2. These can contain text or image, and Word automatically adds them to any new envelopes that you create. You can configure either or both these entries as required, and you use them to, for example, add a logo and a piece of text to the top left corner of an envelope.

Create these entries by first adding an envelope to a new blank document using Tools > Letters and Mailings > Envelopes and Labels. Add an image and text to the envelope. Create these as AutoText entries called EnvelopeExtra1 and EnvelopeExtra2 and then discard the document. In future, whenever you create an envelope, Word will automatically add these items to it.

Helen Bradley is a respected international journalist writing regularly for small business and computer publications in the USA, Canada, South Africa, UK and Australia. You can learn more about her at her Web site, HelenBradley.com

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This article was originally published on March 10, 2008
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