Providing Helpful Tips for Easy AutoText Entry

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated July 18, 2019)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, and 2013


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. ...


Understanding Phantom Macros

When you delete all the macros in a workbook, Excel may still think you have some there. Here's why that happens and what ...

Discover More

Finding the Number of Significant Digits

When looking at a number, you may wonder how many significant digits it contains. The answer is not always an easy one, ...

Discover More

Setting a Document Naming Convention

Want your document file names to follow a specific naming convention? Word doesn't provide a direct way to set up your ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Backing Up Your AutoText Entries

Got a bunch of AutoText entries defined for your system? You'll undoubtedly want to back them up at some time. Here's how ...

Discover More

Store Common Addresses in Building Blocks

Do you write letters to lots of different people? One good place to keep those addresses is in Building Blocks. They are ...

Discover More

Inserting Text with a Shortcut Key

The AutoText capabilities of Word are quite powerful, allowing you to insert all sorts of "boilerplate" information in ...

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.


If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is five minus 5?

2019-07-18 10:11:54



I'm perpetually surprised by that, as well. (Even more surprising, I know people who are still using Office 2002.)

There are 2,057 tips on this site, as of today. Of those, 1,039 are marked as specifically working with Office 2016. That number is increasing all the time as older tips are examined and updated. (These figures are as of this morning.)

That being said, it is my experience that most tips that work with Word 2013 will also work just fine with Excel 2016. (For instance, this particular tip is marked as working with Word 2013 and it is just as applicable to Word 2013.) There are 1,900 of the 2,057 tips on this site which are marked as working with Word 2013.

Hope that helps.


2019-07-18 08:38:26

Alison Miller

I'm always surprised at the people who are still using Office 2007. I don't see a lot of tips for Office 2016! Is there a reason for that?

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.

This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.


FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.