Providing Helpful Tips for Easy AutoText Entry

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 20, 2014)


Lauren notes that AutoText entries were easier to work with in Word 2003 than they are in later versions of Word. When she used to start typing something that was in an AutoText entry, Word would prompt her after the first four characters with a "tip" so she could just hit Enter to add it to add the full AutoText entry to her document. That only seems to happen on dates and days of the week in Word 2007, so Lauren is wondering if there is any way to make Word 2007 display the tips that make entering her AutoText entries easier.

The feature that Lauren is talking about is known, historically, as AutoComplete. Unfortunately, the AutoComplete capability was done away with in Word 2007. The reason for this is unclear, but it appears that many people think it is because of the implementation of Building Blocks. In Word 2007 AutoText was made a "subset" of the larger, more comprehensive Building Blocks feature. The reasoning goes that if AutoComplete were available for Building Blocks, that it would become a distraction because it would be triggered so often.

You can still expand your AutoText entries as you always have: All you have to do is type the first three or four unambiguous characters of the AutoText entry and then press the F3 key. This will, in fact, work for any Building Block.

The problem with having to press F3 to complete an AutoText entry is, of course, that you need to remember what the first few letters of the AutoText entry are and you get no "clues" on the screen. While the old AutoComplete is gone, it is sorely missed as it made using AutoText more intuitive.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (7835) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013.

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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What is five more than 3?

2017-09-28 14:09:32

Charles Kenyon

Autocomplete returned in Word 2010 for AutoText stored in the normal template. In Word 2013 & 2016 is there for AutoText stored in any loaded template.

2015-03-16 00:09:59

Charles Kenyon

AutoComplete was partially restored in Word 2010 and fully restored in Word 2013. In Word 2010 it works for AT entries stored in the Normal template. In Word 2013 it works for AT entries stored in any attached or loaded template.

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