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: Backing Up Your AutoCorrect Entries.

Backing Up Your AutoCorrect Entries

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated January 31, 2024)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


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AutoCorrect is a very productive feature in Word that allows you to compensate for your inadequacies as a typist :>). Since it is possible to spend a great deal of time tweaking your AutoCorrect entries so they are just right, some WordTips readers have questioned how to back up the information in case they need to move it to a freshly formatted hard drive or a new install of Word.

AutoCorrect information is not only used by Word, but also by other Office applications such as Excel and PowerPoint. The result of this sharing means you need to look in several places to gather all the AutoCorrect information and back it up. AutoCorrect information that is shared between Office applications is stored in files with the ACL extension. If you want to make a copy of your shared AutoCorrect information, all you need to do is use the Windows search capability to locate files with this extension and copy them to an external storage device, such as a memory stick.

In addition to the shared AutoCorrect entries, Word also uses its own special AutoCorrect features. This is for corrections that would not make sense in other Office programs, such as formatted text and graphics. These AutoCorrect entries are stored in templates, typically the Normal template. According to some reports they can also be stored in other templates as well. If you want to make copies of this AutoCorrect information, simply make copies of any file with the DOTX or DOTM extensions.

Finally, some AutoCorrect settings are only on/off settings. For instance, you can set whether Word capitalizes the names of days or corrects two initial capitals. These AutoCorrect settings are stored in the Windows Registry. If you want to make copies of this information, there is no real way to do it without copying at least a portion of the Registry. This, of course, could have severe repercussions when you later restore the Registry information in an attempt to reclaim the AutoCorrect settings.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8481) 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: Backing Up Your 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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What is 1 + 1?

2023-09-11 11:53:30

Paul Stregevsky

Why, or why, won't Microsoft let our Autocorrect Dictionary and our spelling dictionaries live in the cloud? It makes no sense to have to add a word or add an exception on each device we use.


2023-09-07 18:34:55

Barbie

This tip is a lifesaver!!
I'm not the best typist, so rely heavily on autocorrect. Unfortunately, my computer every so often resets my autocorrect list and all my custom keyboard shortcuts, so I have to rebuild it again from scratch.
When it did it in May, I searched for and found this tip, and since then I have been backing up the files every time I add new entries (I still haven't gotten it back to what it was before I lost it)
So when it did it again this week, instead of a major annoyance, it took me two seconds to restore the files from the backup.


2022-02-24 18:09:27

Lisa

Is there a way to do this without using external storage? I'm not allowed to use thumb drives, cloud storage, etc. on my work computer. I have a OneDrive folder on the company's server. Would it work if I save a copy of the files there? Thanks!


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