Tech Tip: Word AutoText options/Excel worksheet options/Prevent Access data changes

Word: Create a list of AutoText options

In addition to eliminating keystrokes, Word's AutoText feature can help standardize communication throughout an organization. For example, suppose you want to use a standard set of signatures across the organization. You can insert an AutoTextList field code in a document or template that provides a shortcut menu that lists correct signatures.

First, you must add the appropriate signature entries to the Signature style. In a blank document, type the first signature (e.g., Mary Jones, CPA), and select it. Select Signature from the Style drop-down list in the Formatting toolbar. With the name still selected, press [Alt][F3], and click OK in the Create AutoText dialog box.

Repeat these steps for each name you want to add to the Signature style under AutoText.

To insert the AutoTextList field in a document or template, follow these steps:

  1. Click the line where you want the signature to appear in the document, and go to Insert | Field.
  2. Select AutoTextList from Field Names, and click the Field Codes button.
  3. In the Field Codes text box, type a signature from the AutoText entries next to AutoTextList. This will become the default signature if a user doesn't choose one from the list.
  4. Type /s followed by the name of the AutoText style. This instructs Word to display all the AutoText entries associated with the Signature style when the user right-clicks the field.
  5. To complete the command, use /t to add a ScreenTip that will display when the user moves the pointer over the field, and click OK.

For example, your entry might look like this: AutoTextList "Mary Jones, CPA" /s "Signature" /t "Click the right mouse button for a list of valid signatures."

Users can now right-click the default signature to reveal a shortcut menu listing all valid signature options.

Excel: Change default worksheet options

By default, Excel includes three worksheets in a new workbook. But if most of your users rarely use more than one worksheet per workbook, you can prevent Excel from generating the two extra worksheets.

Follow these steps:

  1. Go to Tools | Options.
  2. On the General tab, set the value in the Sheets In New Workbook box to 1, and click OK.

The next time you create a new workbook, it will have only one worksheet. You can also increase the number of sheets per workbook.

You can also use the Options dialog box to change the worksheet's default font. For example, to change the default font from Arial 10 to Times New Roman 12, follow these steps:

  1. On the General tab, select Times New Roman from the Standard Font drop-down list.
  2. Select 12 from the Size drop-down list, and click OK.

You must restart Excel for your font changes to take effect.

Access: Prevent users from changing data in forms

In certain forms, such as those based on queries, you may not want users to be able to update some or all of the fields. If so, you can prevent users from updating any field in a form.

Follow these steps:

  1. Open the form in Design view.
  2. Double-click the form's Properties button (in the upper left-hand corner where the rulers meet).
  3. On the Data tab, set the Allow Edits property to No.

You can also design a form so that pressing the [Tab] key doesn't stop on a locked field during data entry. Follow these steps:

  1. In Design view, right-click the field, and select Properties.
  2. On the Data tab, set the Locked property to Yes.
  3. On the Other tab, set the Tab Stop property to No.

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