Have you ever been working in Microsoft Word or Outlook and found that you often use the same content throughout multiple documents? I know personally if there is a way to save time and do less typing, I’m game. In Office 2010 we can use AutoText and Quick Parts to save time and automatically enter text and fields, or even edit the properties of the document. It’s particularly great for you sales or tech guys who send the same 10 emails every day! Let’s take a look!
What is AutoText?
AutoText is the biggest part of Quick Parts, and according to Microsoft:
AutoText is reusable content that you can store and access again and again. Click AutoText to access the AutoText gallery. You can save AutoText to the AutoText gallery by selecting the text you want to reuse, clicking AutoText, and then clicking Save Selection to AutoText Gallery. By filling in the new building block information you store the content you save to use again and again.
Or in other words, AutoText is just chunks of text content that is saved so you can automatically insert into your documents, emails, and projects at the push of a button. It saves a lot of time!
What are Quick Parts?
According to Microsoft:
The Quick Part Gallery is a gallery where you can create, store, and find reusable pieces of content, including AutoText, document properties such as title and author, and fields.
We’ll look more at other parts of Quick Parts later, but for now lets focus on AutoText.
How-To Create A New AutoText Entry
In Word 2010, AutoText entries are stored as building blocks. To create a new entry, use the Create New Building Block dialog box.
1. In your document, Select the content (text) that you want to turn into an AutoText entry.
2. Click the Insert ribbon and then Click the Quick Parts button. and then click Save Selection to AutoText Gallery.
3. Fill out the information in the Create New Building Block dialog box:
- Name: Type a unique name for the AutoText entry.
- Gallery: Select the AutoText gallery.
- Category: Select the General category, or create a new category.
- Description: Type a description of the building block.
- Save in: Click the name of the template in the drop-down list. For example, click Normal.dotm
That’s all there is to it to creating AutoText entries. Of course you can create different sets for different projects and save them to different Document Templates (.dotm files), but we’ll save that long how-to for another groovy article.
How To Delete An AutoText Entry
4. Similar to Step 2 above, go to the Insert tab and into the Quick parts > Autotext menu. This time however you’ll Right-Click an Autotext entry and then Select Organize and Delete.
5. Click the Autotext entry that you would like to remove and then Click the Delete button.
Using AutoText In Word 2010
6.a Start typing text that is contained in an Autotext entry, as you get the first word or so typed in you’ll see a small pop-up letting you know you can Press Enter to insert the Autotext entry.
6.b Alternatively, you can just type in the first couple of letters of an Autotext entry and then Press F3 to insert the most similar Autotext entry.
Regardless of which way you decide to use AutoText, the result should be the same. Your AutoText entry will be added to the document in the default way specified. Of course you can always use the Quick Parts > AutoText button on the Insert ribbon to place AutoText, but that requires all of those extra steps.
What Is A Document Property Quick-Part?
Document Property Quick Parts provide fast and easy access to the meta data properties of your document. While AutoText is available in both Word and Outlook, Document Property Quick Parts are only available in Word 2010, the rest of the suite is left out.
7. There are a few different ways to access Document Properties. The quickest is from the File > Info menu. here you can Click the Properties button to show the document panel, or you can go straight to the advanced document properties window.
8. If you opted for the the Document properties Panel it will show up as a bar just above the document workspace. On one hand this gives you a quick way to edit the meta data of a document, but it has the downside of taking up A LOT of screen space.
8.b You can also access the Advanced document Properties from from the Document Panel.
9. The Advanced Document Properties window is the same window you would normally see if you Right-Clicked a document file from Windows Explorer and Selected Properties. In the Summary tab you can edit all of the meta information of a document.
10. You can enter Document Property Quick Parts from the Insert ribbon in Word. Once inserted into a document it will use whatever data is available to automatically fill in the requested information.
Note that it works like a data sync, if you change this entered information the change will also be reflected in your advanced document properties.
Sounds like fun? Give it a run! I gotta go play with more new Office 2010 features!