Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 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: Creating an AutoText List.

Creating an AutoText List

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 6, 2021)

The AutoText feature of Word is quite powerful, allowing you to assign common blocks of text to shorter mnemonic names you define. If you use AutoText quite a bit, you may be interested in creating a drop-down list of AutoText entries in your document. This is done most easily through the use of the AUTOTEXTLIST field.

For example, let's say you have an area of your document where you want the reader to select from several different AutoText entries that can be inserted in a particular spot. You can follow these steps:

  1. Position the insertion point where you want the drop-down list to appear.
  2. Press Ctrl+F9 to insert a pair of field braces. The insertion point should be between the braces.
  3. Enter your field so that it appears as shown here:
  4. { AUTOTEXTLIST "[Pick an Entry]" }
    
  5. With the insertion point still within the field (between the braces), press F9. Word collapses the field, and you see the text [Pick an Entry].

At this point, anyone that right-clicks on the text ([Pick an Entry]) will see a listing of all the AutoText entries that have been defined, provided they use the same style as the paragraph in which the field is located. Thus, if the paragraph where you entered the AUTOTEXTLIST field is in a paragraph formatted as Body Text, only those AutoText entries that utilize the Body Text style will be listed. If there are none that use the style, then all of the AutoText entries appear in the listing.

If the user then picks an AutoText entry from the listing, that entry replaces the field.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13285) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Creating an AutoText List.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Stepping Through a Macro with a Worksheet Visible

When developing a macro, it is often necessary to step through the various code lines so you can see what is happening on ...

Discover More

Alphabetic Column Designation

Want to know the letters assigned by Excel to a particular column? Excel normally deals with column numbers, but you can ...

Discover More

Filtering for Comments

Excel makes it easy to filter a data table based on various values in that table. It isn't so easy to filter according to ...

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)

Special Characters in Fields

If you try to add a quote mark or a backslash as part of a field parameter or switch, you may be surprised at what you ...

Discover More

Inserting a Cross-Reference to an Item in a List

When you create a list using the SEQ field, you may want to create a cross-reference to an item in that field. You can do ...

Discover More

Inserting Custom Properties with Fields

If you define a group of custom properties for a document, you may want a way to display the contents of those properties ...

Discover More
Subscribe

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

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

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}] 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 three less than 3?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


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.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

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.