Autotext Toolbar

Microsoft Word’s AutoText feature provides an easy way to store and then reuse text, graphics, fields, tables, bookmarks, and other items. For example, this newsletter includes the same “Fine Print” section every week. All I have to do is save that text as an AutoText entry, and I can easily insert it in the newsletter without retyping, copying, or pasting. Think of AutoText as your boilerplate library.

You can create, delete, and work with AutoText entries by clicking Insert > AutoText > AutoText. But the AutoText toolbar gives you quick access to AutoText entries that you use a lot. Since I work in a publishing house, I’m thinking particularly of manuscript markup tags or typesetting codes, as explained here:

To display the AutoText toolbar, click View > Toolbars > AutoText. You can identify the toolbar among your many others by its wide button labeled “All Entries.”

HD1Now, need to insert a Heading code? Click “All Entries” on the AutoText toolbar. Then click “Heading Tags.” Then click “Heading 1” to insert the Heading 1 tag. What? You don’t *have* an entry for “Heading Tags”? Let’s fix that right now:

1. Create a paragraph style called “Heading Tags.” Strange as it may seem, Word uses the style of the text you select as the group name for AutoText entries you create.

2. Type the text you want to store as an AutoText entry–HD1, for example.

3. Apply your new “Heading Tags” style to that text.

4. Select the text.

5. On the AutoText toolbar, click the “New” button.

6. Enter a name (at least five characters) for your AutoText entry–“Heading 1,” in this case.

7. Click the “OK” button.

There, you’ve now got a “Heading Tags” group, and within that group you’ve got a listing for “Heading 1.” Here’s how to use them:

1. On the AutoText toolbar, click “All Entries.”

2. Click “Heading Tags.”

3. Click “Heading 1.”

Presto! “HD1” appears in your document, formatted with the style you originally gave it. That’s kind of neat, because it means you can make different text levels stand out by defining the style to use a specific font or color.

If you don’t *want* your code to be formatted with a style, just format your text with the Normal style before creating your AutoText entry. Your entry will then appear under “Normal” when you click “All Entries” on the AutoText toolbar.

Think this might be useful? Good!



MicroType provides a free typographic ruler that you can download and print on transparent film. Then you can place it over printed copy to determine font sizes, line spacing, and rule weights.

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