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  1. #1
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    AutoText/QuickParts compatibility (2003/2007)

    I have been asked to investigate a problem on a site that has Office 2007 on most PCs and office 2003 on one PC. They were using AutoText extensively when they were all on 2003, and have retained the shared template that contains all the old AutoText. Several AutoText entries since have been added to this template through QuickParts in 2007.

    The Office 2007 users have no problems accessing either the old or the new AutoText entries, so we know they are being saved in the shared template, which is in 2003-compatible format. However, the 2003 user finds that, of the old AutoText entries, his original list seems to be truncated (he can access all entries up to those starting with Z, but the entries disappear partway through the Zs). He cannot see any of the 2007 entries.

    The first part of the problem sounds as though there is some newly-imposed limit on the number of AutoText entries he now has available in 2003, while the second part sounds like straight incompatibility between the versions. However, I'm not convinced it's that straightforward.

    So far, I have only had the problem described to me by a techie over the phone, and want to have as much information available as possible when I go on site. I have created a 2003-compatible template in 2007, and saved two entries in the same way - Quick Parts/Save Selection to Quick Part Gallery/Name: "Test1" or "Test 2"/Gallery: AutoText/Description: "First Test" or "Second Test"/Save in: Test.dot/Options: Insert content only. The main difference between the two entries, apart from the space in the name (Test1 doesn't have one, Test 2 does), is that one is formatted to a larger font, and the second is standard size but italic. The text reads "This is test autotext 1" and "This is test autotext 2" respectively.

    When I copy the template to a Word 2000 PC (I don't have 2003 on hand), and add it through Tools/Templates and Add-ins, I can get Test 2 to insert in any of the usual ways (F3, dialog box, etc) but Test1 behaves very oddly. It doesn't insert automatically with F3 or Enter, as Test 2 does; and when I use Insert/AutoText/AutoText (even if I select Test.doc in the Look In field) it shows Test1 in the list of AutoText entries, but when I select it, only the Add button is available - not the Insert or Delete button.

    Are there known problems with taking AutoText between 2007 and earlier versions of word? This is a small legal firm, and the 2003 PC is used by the legal practitioner, while the 2007 PCs are used by the admin staff who will be entering most of the new AutoText, so creating and saving it on the 2003 PC isn't likely to be seen as a practical solution.

    Thanks for reading this far, at least!

  2. #2
    5 Star Lounger kmurdock's Avatar
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    Re: AutoText/QuickParts compatibility (2003/2007)

    Hi Alison,

    I don't have any special information about AutoText in 2007, but I was able to test what you outlined as I have both 2007 and 2003. I had the same results you did. I created a Test1 and Test 2 and could insert Test1, but not Test 2. On a lark, I went back into 2007 and changed the name by taking the space out of the name of Test 2. I was then able to see and insert the italicized AutoText.

    This doesn't make sense, I know, as AutoText allows spaces in the names. Can you test this in compatibility mode? That is, open the 2003 template in 2007, add AutoText entries, then save and give to your legal practitioner?

    I haven't done extensive testing, but does this jibe with anything you've seen in your small office?
    Best, Kim <img src=/S/bananas.gif border=0 alt=bananas width=33 height=35>

  3. #3
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    Re: AutoText/QuickParts compatibility (2003/2007)

    Hi Kim -

    Thanks for checking. Actually, we had the opposite results - it was Test 2 that worked for me, not Test1! (I thought of doing what you did, and changing the names, but do need both one-word and multi-word names, which were OK in 2003.)

    But wait... there's more...!

    Creating the template in 2003 and taking it to 2007 was what raised the problem in the first place, but I thought it was a good suggestion to try it in the test context. That gave me effectively the same results as you. All the original AutoText entries created in 2000 worked after the file was taken to 2007, more entries added, the template saved, and returned to 2000. However, the single-word-named AutoText entries created in 2007 worked in 2000, and the two-word-names didn't. (I have double-checked my facts with the original test, and it was definitely the other way around.)

    This is sort of consistent with the client's problem - most of the 2003 entries remained OK, but the new 2007 entries didn't. I'm pretty sure all their entries are named using multiple words with spaces between. It doesn't necessarily explain those that dropped off the very bottom of the list, but I think the main conclusion we can draw at this stage is that there is something flakey about trying to use AutoText in compatibility mode. From there, I don't hold out much hope of managing to bring it to Microsoft's attention (couldn't find anything useful on the Knowledgebase, although past experience shows I could go back tomorrow, enter the same search criteria, and find a 3-month-old article on the very subject!). I find it hard to believe mine is the only client who has large AutoText lists and a need to access/update them in both 2003 and 2007.

    The end result is that the client has realised he probably needs to bring all his PCs to the same Office level - ie 2007 (it was a training issue initially, as he didn't feel he had time to learn the new interface, but now realises that's preferable to having a broken office process). Let's hope if any of us come across the problem in the future we are able to implement the same solution!

    Thanks again for your input.

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