MS Office Auto Text (aka BoilerPlate text), a favourite feature

We know Microsoft templates are a time and sanity saver, but sometimes we don’t maximise some of the features of a template.

One of the most powerful tools you can use in any MS document and even more so, an MS template is ‘boilerplate text’. (A layout already created + Text already created = Genius!)

What is boilerplate text or AutoText?

It’s standardised text. In legal language, it’s called ‘boilerplate’ but MS calls it AutoText and it’s exactly the same thing. Content that you use over and over again. So rather than retyping out the same information about your company or copying and pasting from different documents (and screwing up any formatting in the process), use boilerplate text instead. You don’t need to write a complex macro either. It’s almost too easy!

Microsoft Word AutoText does a much better job than a macro and it’s more easily edited. Am I speaking your language?

Saving Boiler Plate or Autotext:

If you have created text and text boxes and decide that you would like to use it again as boilerplate text, then:

  • Select your text.
  • Hit Alt+F3 and Word will give you a dialog box so you can assign a name to it. That’s called the “AutoText entry name”. If you forget to give it a name, the actual text will become the name of the entry.
  • In Word 2007 and later, you will have further options on where the AutoText will be stored. You can assign the text to different galleries, categories (…very handy if you are planning on creating a lot of AutoText entries) and a location. The location is key if you want multiple people to have access to this AutoText.

In older versions of Word, you will select the area, then go to “Insert Menu” where you will select the “AutoText”, which gives you various options for saving.

How to Add AutoText to your Document:

If you have saved your AutoText in your template in Word 2010, a ToolTip will pop up when you type the first four letters of your AutoText entry name that you have assigned above. By pressing ‘Enter’, that saved text (your boilerplate) will be added to your document.

Note: In some cases, however, this won’t happen as seamlessly. In Word 2007-2013 if the ToolTip didn’t show after you’ve typed the first four letters, try pressing the F3 key. You may also have to try typing more than four letters, as ToolTips are based on unique names. So, you may need to type more letters, if there are entries with a shared first four letters.

So there you go, how to create AutoText, otherwise known a boilerplate text and how to store it so you can use it and reuse it and reuse it.

Now if you are thinking ‘Pfffttt’! Do I have to deal with this? The answer is No. You don’t. We are more than happy to help you by creating your template and your boilerplate text. Just get in touch with us right now and we’ll do the rest – easy-peasy.