How to use AutoText in Word 2016 for Windows

Get more productive with Word!

Microsoft Word is a great tool, and when you know how to use it properly you'll save 5-10 hours of your working week. Start with these tips, delivered to your inbox.

How to use AutoText in Word 2016 for Windows

AutoText Word 2016 Windows


AutoText is one of my favourite time saving features. When you have standard text that you need to type on a regular basis AutoText can help. Your sign off or perhaps you have several paragraphs you need to use on a rotational basis. Instead of creating a template and deleting out what you don’t want, create several Auto text entries and insert them in any order. AutoText in Word 2016 for Windows really is a time saver.

First type up the text that will become your Auto text entry. I have created a document with descriptions of presentations that I give. I write to clients and need to include a descriptive paragraph. This saves me thinking about what to write or hunting for the last document I sent out with the standard text.

Type up the text – it can be on a new document – in fact I have a document that I call AutoText Entries stored on my system. That way if anything gets corrupted or lost I can recreate them all quickly.

Autotext Word 2016 Windows

Figure 1- Create Auto text

  1. Type the text
  2. Select the text
  3. Click on Quick Parts on the Insert Ribbon and then Auto text
  4. Click Save Selection to Auto Text Gallery

Autotext Word 2016 Windows

Figure 2-name and save

In the dialogue box that appears type a name for the Auto text entry (1) It will be in the Auto Text Gallery as that is where we started from (2) Choose a category or create your own (3) Type a description – Optional (4) Decide which template it lives in (5) and finally decide what and how it is inserted. (6)

Select Insert content in its own page to place the building block on a separate page with page breaks before and after the building block.

Select Insert in own paragraph to make the content into its own paragraph, even if the user’s cursor is in the middle of a paragraph.

Select Insert content only for all other content

Now you are ready to add it to a document.

Insert Auto text

There are two options for inserting the Auto text entry into your document.

Via the Quick Parts Gallery

Place the cursor where you wish the text to appear and click on the drop down under Quick Parts Gallery. Click on Auto Text and then click on your new entry.

Autotext Word 2016 Windows

Figure 3- insert from AutoText Gallery

Your text will be added to the document.

Using the Enter key

As you type the name that you gave the Auto Text entry, you will see a tip pop up on the screen. Press Enter to have Word insert the Auto Text into the document.

Autotext Word 2016 Windows

Figure 4- AutoText with an on-screen tip

For this to work, the name you give your Auto Text entry needs to be more than 4 characters in length.

Using the Keyboard

Type the name of the Auto Text entry and then press the F3 key along the top row of your keyboard. If you are using a laptop you may need to press the Function key along with the F3 key. On a regular desktop computer with an external keyboard F3 will be fine.

Delete Auto Text from the Gallery

If you realise that you made a mistake with an AutoText entry, you can delete it and then create it again correctly. Here is how to delete it.

Click the Insert Ribbon and then Quick Parts

  1. Click on the drop down for Auto Text
  2. Right Click on the Auto Text entry you wish to remove.
  3. Select Organise and Delete

Autotext Word 2016 Windows

Figure 5-Delete an Auto Text

Notice that in the Building Blocks Organiser your Auto Text entry is selected. At the bottom of the window are the Edit Properties (1) and Delete buttons (2).

Autotext Word 2016 Windows

Figure 6- delete Auto Text Entry

Click the Delete button. You will be asked to confirm, click Yes.

Autotext Word 2016 Windows

Figure 7-Confirm delete

You will now see that the Auto Text entry you just deleted is no longer in the list when you click on the drop down for Auto Text.

Autotext Word 2016 Windows

Figure 8- Auto Text entry is gone

What will you use AutoText for?

  • Sign off for different clients or documents
  • Standard paragraphs of text
  • Tables or images with text that you can use again and again

Let me know how this has helped in the comments below and what you will use it for.

About the Author Shelley Fishel

I will help you be more productive and earn more money as a virtual assistant. As a trainer with 20 years experience, you'll love how you'll get between 4-8 hours a week back when you use Microsoft tools to their fullest potential. I'm also the author of several best-selling books on Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook, published at . Subscribe and get more productive!

follow me on:

Leave a Comment:

Kevin says April 20, 2018

Thanks shelley, it never fails to amaze me just how much I don’t know about these programs and I thought I was quite competent. Another great tip that will make my life that bit easier

    Shelley Fishel says April 20, 2018

    Glad to help Kevin. Yes there is so much in our familiar software that never gets used because we are not aware of it. I love Autotext, you can save all sorts of things that way and most importantly save loads of time.

Add Your Reply