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: Creating an AutoText List.

Creating an AutoText List

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated February 6, 2021)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


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 Microsoft 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. ...

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