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Word, AutoText, and the Handy F3 Key
Posted: July 31, 2012


Microsoft Word has a few features that allow you to instantly reuse common content in your Word documents. This could be as simple as quickly inserting a complex medical word to inserting an entire letterhead complete with graphics. If you find yourself continuously opening old documents and copying text or graphics from them, then AutoText might be for you.

To use AutoText you must first save the content that you wish to insert later, then you can quickly insert the content in your other documents by using the F3 key. The following detailed steps apply to Word 2003, 2007, and 2010.

Save Content to AutoText

  1. Highlight the content you want to save. Press Alt+F3.
  2. Type in a Name for your AutoText entry. Click OK.

            The Save AutoText window from Word 2010.

Insert Content from AutoText

  1. Type in the name of your AutoText entry (at least the first 4 letters). Word needs the name to be unique enough from your other AutoText entries. For Example:  Letter
  2. Press F3. The words you type will be automatically replaced with your AutoText entry!

   

If you do completely forget the name of your AutoText entry, don’t worry, you can always browse your list of entries. Here are the steps to find your AutoText in the different versions of Word. (Note that in Word 2007, Microsoft exclusively renamed AutoText to be QuickParts, only to bring back the AutoText moniker in 2010.)

2003Insert menu > AutoText > Normal

2007Insert tab > Text group > QuickParts

2010:   Insert tab > Text group > QuickParts > AutoText

Author: Ryan Donelan
rdonelan@microknowledge.com

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