Hi everybody and welcome to this week's blog - trying to do these every weekend at least! 
 
I was talking about AutoText to a breakfast networking group the other day.  
Lots of the Word users became very excited when I explained what AutoText was.  
 
So I thought that I would pass this on to a wider audience ... 
What is AutoText? 
 
AutoText is a database of stock phrases or graphics that you create which can be called upon at the drop of a hat. 
This boiler-plate text can be set up in both Word or Outlook in the same way. The great thing is that you can format the text in any way you like and it will reappear exactly as you want it.  
 
See the screenshot below of the AutoText version of my email signature.  
I trigger this by typing Me and then pressing F3 immediately 
 
Where is AutoText saved? 
 
When Word opens it loads the file called Normal.dot or Normal.dotm (depending on your version of Word) this contains default font, margin settings etc but also this is where you save your AutoText entries unless you specify otherwise. This means that they will always be available when you open Word. Similarly, the NormalEmail.dotm file is used by Outlook to save similar settings for emails so understandably it has its own AutoText entries database. With a bit of effort you can move/copy AutoText to another template file or even between the Normal.dotm for different users. If you type %appdata%\Microsoft\Templates into the address bar of Windows Explorer you will be taken to the file location for Normal.dotm and NormalEmail.dotm 
 
Good examples of AutoText? 
 
Phrases you use a lot eg I often say “should be grateful if you would” or “further to our telephone conversation” 
Letter or email sign-offs – so in Outlook if you have several email signoffs you could set them up as AutoText (it is faster than using an Outlook Signature!) 
See the screenshot below of the AutoText version of my email signature. I trigger this by typing Me and then pressing F3 immediately 
Business letter headers (including your logo) 
Legal clauses 
Scanned real signaturesWell, that’s all for this time. 

Screenshot showing my "Me" AutoText 

Creating and Using AutoText 
 
All you need to do to set up an AutoText entry is think about its content, its formatting and choose a memorable trigger name to recall it.  
 
This is what you do: 
Type up the text for the new AutoText entry, select it then press Alt+F3 
Complete the dialog that appears: 
Type your memorable “trigger” name 
(Make sure it is not a regular word that might confuse the system!
Set Gallery = AutoText 
Set Save In = Normal.dotm 
To use an AutoText block, type the “trigger” name then press F3 
 
Modifying AutoText 
 
The easiest way to modify an AutoText, is to resave the modified text as before under the same “trigger” name because Word will ask if you want to overwrite the current version with the new version. 
 
Viewing or Deleting AutoText 
To View or Delete AutoText entries: 
Click Insert Tab, Quick Parts, Building Blocks, ... 
Find and click the target entry in list then click appropriate option button eg Delete 
Printing the AutoText List 
 
You can also Print out AutoText for reference: 
Click File tab, Print then drop down the first control under the Settings heading. ... 
Choose AutoText Entries in the Document Properties section of the options on the drop down 
Click Print 
 
Well, that's it for now. 
I hope you get as much fun and productivity out of AutoText as I do.  
I would love to hear your creative ideas about using AutoText. 
Text me on 07973 507371 or email me les@101systemworks.co.uk 
 
See you next time 
 
Les is more! 
 
 
 

Shortcuts List 

Keystoke 
Effect 
Alt+F3 
Set up Autotext 
F3 
Replace with Autotext 
Click on this text to edit it. 
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