How to Use AutoText in Word 2011 for Mac

By Geetesh Bajaj, James Gordon

Office 2011 for Mac’s AutoText feature is so simple, yet so powerful, you might wonder how you got along without it. Use AutoText to teach Word for Mac 2011 to remember text that you use often and don’t feel like typing over and over. Word can then type that text for you.

There are five Auto features:

  • AutoText: When you type certain text, this feature instantly inserts an AutoText entry.

  • AutoText name: Each AutoText entry has a name so that you can refer to an AutoText entry by typing its name in a document and so you can manage them all in AutoText preferences, which we explain shortly.

  • AutoComplete: This is the process whereby a saved AutoText entry is added to a document when its name is typed.

  • AutoCorrect: This is the technology that the AutoText feature uses. You can consider AutoCorrect to be the parent of the AutoText feature.

Maybe you have to type your organization’s name often. Maybe you have to type a word or an expression that’s cumbersome, such as Nuclear Factor-Kappa B and Placental Apoptosis. To teach Word a word or expression, all you have to do is this:

  1. Type the word or expression that you use often and select it.

  2. With the text selected, choose Insert→AutoText→New.

    This step summons the Create AutoText dialog with a suggested name for your AutoText entry.


  3. (Optional) If you don’t want to use Word’s suggestion, type a new name in the Name field.

  4. Click OK to close the Create AutoText dialog and add the entry to Word.

    Word looks for the names of AutoText entries as you type, and when you begin to type the first few letters, AutoText displays a tooltip showing the first few words of the AutoText entry. Pressing Return or Enter fills in the rest of the text for you.

In this example, whenever you type Nuclear Factor, Word knows you want to use the long, awful Nuclear Factor-Kappa B and Placental Apoptosis expression in your document. You don’t have to use any of the words of the saved AutoText in the name you give to AutoText. You can invent your own AutoText naming scheme.