share TWEET PIN IT share share 0

Creating AutoText Entries to Save Frequently Used Text

Video: A fast way to recycle phrases or whole paragraphs in Microsoft Word.

By Deborah Savadra

Using AutoText makes it easy to access all those frequently repeated phrases in your Word docs. Create or edit Word documents faster.

Saving frequently repeated phrases or paragraphs to an easily accessible place is key to using text recycling to create or edit Word documents faster. One tool to make that happen: AutoText.

In this video, you will see that I’ve got a standard discovery objection already typed out. I want to save this so that when I type the letters @OBJ, Word will automatically offer to type this entire phrase into my document. This comes in really handy with a repetitive phrase you use often. Rather than having to search for another example of it and cut and paste it, or type it all out yourself, you can program AutoText to do this for you.

Creating an AutoText Building Block

To avoid a formatting mess, the first thing I’m going to do is go to the Home tab to turn on Show/Hide so I can see the “end of paragraph” symbol. This is important because you want to make sure that when you copy text into AutoText you’re not picking up the end of paragraph symbol, which a) starts a new line and b) contains paragraph formatting information that you don’t want to be embedded in the AutoText entry.

Use the left mouse button to select all this text. Remember: Back off of that “end of paragraph” marker (use Shift + left arrow) because that’s going to embed a hard return in the AutoText.

Once you’ve selected the text, go to the Insert tab, go over to Quick Parts, go down to AutoText and then click Save Selection to AutoText Gallery, which brings up the Create New Building Block dialog box.

Word will try to name this building block based on the text it sees, but you can type anything you want, as long as it’s at least four characters and it’s something distinct you can remember. I’m using @OBJ because that is not something I would type in the normal course of working, so it’s safe to use as an AutoText prompt.

I’m going to leave this entry in the General category in my building blocks. And, because I want this AutoText to insert this into the middle of an existing paragraph, I’m going to leave this set as “Insert Content Only” as opposed to “Insert Content in Its Own Paragraph,” and then click OK to create the AutoText.

Now I’m going to delete this text on the screen to show you how this works.

When I type @OBJ, a little prompt pops up right above the letters that say “Press Enter to insert.” If I hit the Enter key, that text is inserted there automatically.

I could define several of these objections and call them @OBJ1, @OBJ2, and so on. You could do the same if you have a set of objections that may differ from one another that you will reuse — and you can do this for any text that you use frequently.

I hope you find this tip useful for inserting pieces of text that you use frequently. If you can get a set of building blocks like this you can use over and over again, you’ll find your document creation becomes a lot faster.

Click here to read more of Deborah’s Microsoft Office tips.

Illustration ©

You Might Also Like:

share TWEET PIN IT share share
Deborah Savadra Deborah Savadra

Deborah Savadra spends a lot of her time explaining technology to lawyers, mostly as editor and chief blogger at Legal Office Guru, which features Microsoft Office video tutorials and other content especially for legal professionals. Watch her quick tips videos here, and follow her on Twitter @legalofficeguru.

More Posts By This Author
MUST READ Articles for Law Firms Click to expand

Welcome to Attorney at Work!

Sign up for our free newsletter.


All fields are required. By signing up, you are opting in to Attorney at Work's free practice tips newsletter and occasional emails with news and offers. By using this service, you indicate that you agree to our Terms and Conditions and have read and understand our Privacy Policy.