Save Time with Word Short Cuts: Creating AutoText Snippets in Microsoft Word (O365)

Sometimes you need to insert the same block of text into a document (or multiple documents). For instance, you might use a formatted table to display census data in a research report. By creating an AutoText entry with your blank table and then assigning it a shortcut, you can insert that table anywhere you need to enter Census data.

This process has two steps. First you create an AutoText snippet and then you assign the snippet a keyboard shortcut.

Create an AutoText snippet
1. Set up and format the text you want to template.
2. Highlight the text, then press Alt + F3 on a PC or Option + F3 on a Mac.
3. Assign the selection a title. Remember this title because you will need it later. Leave the other settings as is.

Assign your snippet a shortcut by following these steps
1. Right click on an empty spot in the Word ribbon and select Customize Ribbon or click File ⇒ Options ⇒ Customize Ribbon. Then click Keyboard Shortcuts: Customize.
2. Scroll down and select Building Blocks (near the bottom of the list). This will change the content in the box on the right.
3. Click on your AutoText title in the box on the right.
4. Click inside the ‘Press new shortcut key’ field.
5. Press the keys for your desired shortcut. Alt + whatever is pretty empty. If your chosen shortcut is already used, you will see that under ‘Currently Assigned to’. Be careful not to reassign a shortcut!
6. Click Assign and then Close.
7. Test your work by typing your shortcut.


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