Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Importing AutoCorrect Entries.

Importing AutoCorrect Entries

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated August 21, 2021)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


Eva has a large list of acronyms (such as DOE) and their expansions (such as Department of Energy). She wonders if there a way that she can import this list, which is in a text file, as AutoCorrect entries in Word. She doesn't relish the idea of typing thousands of individual AutoCorrect entries.

I don't blame you, Eva. Setting up a large number of AutoCorrect entries can be tedious, at best. There are things you can do, provided you don't mind using macros.

Before beginning, it is important to realize that AutoCorrect entries can be of two types—unformatted and formatted. Word stores unformatted AutoCorrect entries in what are called "ACL files." This simply means that a special file, with the filename extension of .ACL, is used to store the entries. Formatted AutoCorrect entries are stored in the Normal template.

The bifurcated nature of AutoCorrect entries and where they are stored can make importing them a bit tricky. Importing unformatted entries is very easy, and fortunately it sounds like Eva's entries are just that—unformatted acronyms. If those acronyms can be stored in a plain-text CSV file using the format of Name, "Value", then you can use the following simple macro to import the entries:

Sub AutoCorrectAdd()
    Dim sName As String
    Dim sValue As String

    Open "ACEList.csv" For Input As #1
    Do While Not EOF(1)
        Input #1, sName, sValue
        AutoCorrect.Entries.Add Name:=sName, Value:=sValue
    Loop
    Close #1
End Sub

The macro assumes that the CSV file is named ACEList.csv and that the values for each AutoCorrect entry are rather short, meaning nothing that is multi-paragraph in length. The name/value pair is grabbed from each line of the CSV file and then added to the .Entries collection of the AutoCorrect object.

If your AutoCorrect entries are longer or they are formatted, then you can use a macro, but it may be best to rely on some utility macros provided by others, so as not to reinvent the wheel. Michael Schuler has a pair of helpful macros that he makes available on his website:

https://bergerplusschuler.com/macros/

An even more full-featured solution called the AutoCorrect Utility Manager can be found on Greg Maxey's site, here:

https://gregmaxey.com/word_tip_pages/autocorrect_utility_manager.html

Greg Maxey's utility is particularly helpful since it does more than just import AutoCorrect entries. It also allows you to export them, which means it can be used to transfer entries from one machine to another.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the WordTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1596) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Importing AutoCorrect Entries.

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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