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  1. #1
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    Word 2003 AutoText

    I have no existing autotext entries. When I try to add a new one via Insert > AutoText, the 'New' option is greyed out. I've tried reverting to the default normal template, but that does not help. How can I "ungrey" the New option? Thanks in advance.

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    Before you click Insert > AutoText, you must first select something (text, picture, table, etc.) in the body of the document. Then the New item in the menu will be active, as will the Alt+F3 shortcut, and the selected part of the document will become the replacement for whatever you specify as the name for the AutoText entry.
    Last edited by jjfreedman; 2013-10-05 at 13:06.

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    Lindsay Graham (2013-10-05)

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    Thank you, thank you. So easy when you know how! I spent well over an hour unsuccessfully searching the net for that answer. I'd selected text from another document and it was on the clipboard, but didn't realise that one had to select the text in the same document.

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    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    New is for adding an AutoText to your library. As Jay said, you need to have something selected in your document ot be able to add it.
    AutoText and AutoCorrect
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

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    Watch out if you upgrade to 2007 or above. Microsoft gutted the Autotext feature in favor of "Quick Parts" and "Building Blocks," neither of which works as well as Autotext. The worst part is that if you have a lot of entries in Autotext 2003, there is no easy way to export those entries to Building Blocks. You have to insert all your 2003 Autotext entries into a blank document and then re-select them from that document to get them back into Building Blocks. Stick with 2003 as long as you can. The ribbon bar is a farce, too.

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    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wu_saline View Post
    Watch out if you upgrade to 2007 or above. Microsoft gutted the Autotext feature in favor of "Quick Parts" and "Building Blocks," neither of which works as well as Autotext. The worst part is that if you have a lot of entries in Autotext 2003, there is no easy way to export those entries to Building Blocks. You have to insert all your 2003 Autotext entries into a blank document and then re-select them from that document to get them back into Building Blocks. Stick with 2003 as long as you can. The ribbon bar is a farce, too.
    The AutoText feature is far from broken; it works in Word 2007 and later, but it does not work the same. Word 2010 is better than Word 2007. Greg Maxey's Addin can help. http://gregmaxey.mvps.org/word_tip_p..._autotext.html

    AutoText cannot be stored as AutoText in documents. It must be stored in templates. It is stored in templates in Word 2003 (and Word 97 for that matter). Templates that contain AutoText in Word 2003 can be ported directly, without editing, and lend that AutoText to a Word 2007, 2010, or 2013 installation by simply locating them in either the building blocks folder or the Word Startup Folder.

    If Word 2003 meets a user's needs, there is no reason to move to a later version, yet. The Ribbon Interface is not worse than the menus and toolbars, but it is different. MS was convinced that, for new users, it made the product easier to use. They may be right. For experienced or power users, it was a major shock and involves a steep learning curve. Changing directly to a ribbon version from Word 2003 or earlier will result in at least a temporary loss in productivity. It is possible (even easy) to add the familiar menus back in to the Ribbon interface. It is also possible to have both Word 2003 and one or more of the ribbon versions running on the same computer at the same time.
    Last edited by Charles Kenyon; 2013-10-24 at 03:43.
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

  8. #7
    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wu_saline View Post
    Watch out if you upgrade to 2007 or above. Microsoft gutted the Autotext feature in favor of "Quick Parts" and "Building Blocks," neither of which works as well as Autotext. The worst part is that if you have a lot of entries in Autotext 2003, there is no easy way to export those entries to Building Blocks. You have to insert all your 2003 Autotext entries into a blank document and then re-select them from that document to get them back into Building Blocks. Stick with 2003 as long as you can. The ribbon bar is a farce, too.
    The AutoText feature is far from broken; it works in Word 2007 and later, but it does not work the same. Word 2010 is better than Word 2007. Greg Maxey's Addin can help. http://gregmaxey.mvps.org/word_tip_p..._autotext.html

    AutoText cannot be stored as AutoText in documents. It must be stored in templates. It is stored in templates in Word 2003 (and Word 97 for that matter). Templates that contain AutoText in Word 2003 can be ported directly, without editing, and lend that AutoText to a Word 2007, 2010, or 2013 installation by simply locating them in either the building blocks folder or the Word Startup Folder.

    If Word 2003 meets a user's needs, there is no reason to move to a later version, yet. The Ribbon Interface is not worse than the menus and toolbars, but it is different. MS was convinced that for new users, it made the product easier to use. They may be right. For experienced or power users, it was a major shock and involves a steep learning curve. Changing directly to a ribbon version from Word 2003 or earlier will result in at least a temporary loss in productivity. It is possible (even easy) to add the familiar menus back in to the Ribbon interface. It is also possible to have both Word 2003 and one or more of the ribbon versions running on the same computer at the same time.
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

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    Well, Charles, I worked extensively with Greg on trying to port a significant amount of autotext over from 2003 to 2007 and we were never successful due to the inability to move the autotext out of the old 2003 normal.dot template and into a new mission-critical template. I don't consider myself a Word guru and prefer to outsource difficult projects to Greg. I'm a lawyer and kept all sorts of boilerplate in 2003 autotext. What finally worked was to create something called a "provision bank," inserting all of the autotext entries into a new document, giving each one a meaningful label, and putting a hyperlinked index of the labels at the beginning of the document. The provision bank runs over 50 pages, but at least now I can find the clause I want and don't have to worry about MS interface changes. I'm running 2010 by the way and the provision bank still works flawlessly. From what I've seen of Win8, Word 2013, and Office 365, this is the end of the line for me with Microsoft products. If they don't change their tablet-centric orientation and back off from "SaaS," I'm done with Microsoft and will move to Linux.

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    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    Except to make sure something I produce works in Word 2007 I don't use it. When it came out, I bought it, tried it, and promptly removed it from my production computers. I do use Word 2010 and have Word 2013 on my only Windows7 computer.

    If you worked with Greg Maxey, on a paid basis, and were unable to get your Word 2003 AutoText ported to Word 2010, I am very surprised. Make that "amazed." I, too, am a lawyer and use AutoText extensively. My AutoText is stored in either document templates or global templates. I am not a Word guru, but am a hobbyist.

    AutoText became harder to use in the Ribbon versions because the AutoComplete feature was removed from Word 2007 and only partially restored in Word 2010. (I have not checked whether it is better in Word 2013 but would be surprised if it is.) A real problem is that the programmers at MS who write Word do not use it, at least not much.

    When Word 2007 came out, I went into shock. See the screenshot at the bottom of this post. That is my Word 2003 screen. All of the toolbars on that screen (top, left and bottom) are custom toolbars. I still have not replaced all of this and use some under the Add-Ins toolbar. In Word 2010, with Greg's help, I have customized my ribbon and QAT so that it is very useful. In most ways, it is far superior to what I had in Word 2003.

    Also shown is my main ribbon and the dynamic template menus in Word 2010 (also works in Word 2007 and Word 2013). These dynamic menus were not available in Word 2003 and earlier as far as I know.
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    Last edited by Charles Kenyon; 2013-10-25 at 11:32.
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

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    Greg Maxey is a great guy (even if he was in the Navy) and worth every nickel I paid him. I would recommend his services to anyone with complex issues with MS Word. My project involved document automation ("smart" documents) in which we automated production of routine documents by providing a data entry screen for the user to assign values to variables and then inserting the appropriate text based on the variables. I still needed a significant amount of boilerplate for situations that were sufficiently rare they did not merit incorporation into the automated templates. The "provision bank" idea originated from Scott Driza's book and has served me well. I also used UBitMenu to ease the transition from 2003 to 2007 and beyond, but have gotten used to the ribbon bar (although it still annoys me). I run Word 2010 under Win7 but cannot imagine going any further with Microsoft products given the direction they have chosen. The "Metro" interface (or whatever they are calling it now) really rubs me the wrong way. I'm using a computer not a cell phone.

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    Wow! We've really hijacked this thread and put it on a different course. Given that support for Word 2003 ends April 8, 2014, my main concern was to warn Lindsay Graham that Autotext in 2003 is a much different beast in later versions. At least the programmers at WordPerfect understood something about lawyers' word processing needs.

  13. #12
    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    I agree with every thing you've said in the last two posts. I hope MS has sense enough to keep a real computer program rather than a bunch of "Apps." I hope, but would not predict.
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

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    Charles, I phrased my response poorly in my first post. The problem I faced with Greg was how to extract the autotext content from a Word 2003 template and insert that autotext into new Word 2007 and later Word 2010 templates. For technical reasons related to the document automation project, we could not simply keep the old Word 2003 template. There was so much autotext content and the export/import process was so cumbersome that we gave up and opted for the provision bank solution. I remember being astonished that Word did not provide a method to easily export autotext. Again, for the benefit of Lindsay Graham (not the senator from South Carolina, I hope), you should be very chary of accumulating a significant amount of autotext in Word 2003 and then being forced to migrate to one of the later versions when 2003 expires next year. However, that may not be an issue for you at all.

    Personal opinion: Word 2003 was the high-water mark for Word and it has been downhill since. Similarly, WordPerfect 5.1+ for DOS was the high-water mark for that program, which never lived up to its potential in Windows versions (although reveal codes are still nice). Back in the day, I used to run multiple copies of WP51 under DESQview and cut-and-paste between documents, quite a feat under MS-DOS. I keep hoping Libre Office will develop some mojo.

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