Software

Easy AutoText

Most AutoText entries consist of a few words on a single line, but you can create an AutoText entry that contains several lines of text or even blank lines.

During the run of any given day, I type the following two HTML tags several times: <nl> </nl> <bl> </bl> I don't use them as HTML tags. Rather, I use them to mark the beginning and end of numbered and bulleted lists. It's a perfect job for AutoText, I thought, but I couldn't figure out how to enter more than one line in an AutoText entry. Tina Norris, a friend and colleague showed me how easy it is — enter the text and then select it, as follows:

  1. Enter the text, including the blank line between the two bracketed components, and then select all three lines.
  2. Check the text entry in the Enter AutoText Entries Here control. Word will use the first cluster of characters, in this case, that's <nl>, which is probably more characters than you'd like to enter.
  3. Delete all but the most necessary characters. In this case, delete l>.
  4. Preview the entry to make sure all of the text is right.
  5. Click OK to add the AutoText entry.
  6. From the Insert menu, choose AutoText. Then, choose AutoText from the resulting submenu. Word will insert the selected text, which you can check in the Preview pane.
To enter the numbered list tag in a document, simply type <n where you want the tag and press Enter. Word will insert the entire tag for you. It turns out that including additional lines in an AutoText entry isn't hard at all. In addition, this method retains formatting (as you can see above). Apply the formatting as you normally would. Then, select it and work through the steps to create the AutoText entry — format and all. Thanks Tina!

About Susan Harkins

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

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