Adding Shortcut Keys to Word AutoText Entries

Automate repetitive text tasks with AutoText entries

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Auto Text entries are canned bits of text you can insert into different Word docs — but with keyboard shortcuts, Auto Text insertion proves even faster.

These instructions apply to Microsoft Word 2010 and later, for the Windows desktop. Similar functionality appears in Word 2007 and Word 2003, as well as Word for Mac.

Creating an Auto Text Entry

Several default Auto Text entries ship with Word. Your default Auto Text entries support the assignment of hotkeys.

Follow these steps to create an AutoText entry:

  1. Select the text you want to add to your AutoText gallery.

  2. Select the Insert tab. In the Text group, click the Quick Parts button.

  3. Position your mouse pointer over AutoText. In the secondary menu that opens, click Save Selection to AutoText Gallery at the bottom of the menu.

    Auto text entry
  4. Complete the fields in the Create New Building Block dialog box:

    • The Name field will display the text you selected.
    • Gallery should be set to AutoText.
    • Category is General by default, though you can create your own.
    • Description offers a label to identify the entry.
    • Save it in the template you want to save the entry in. Default is Normal.
    • Options lets you choose to have the AutoText inserted normally, in its own paragraph, or between page breaks, giving it its own page.
  5. Click OK.

Applying a Shortcut to the Auto Text Entry

Auto Text shortcut

Keyboard shortcuts apply to Word overall and not just to Auto Text entries. To create a new shortcut, open Word Options then select the Customize Ribbon tab. Select the Customize button at the bottom of the dialog box. In the resulting pop-up box, scroll the category list to Building Blocks then select the relevant block from the list. From the Press new shortcut key box, input the intended key combo. When you've nailed it, select Close and exit Word Options.

If you save the changes in Normal.dotm, the hotkey applies to all new documents based on the Normal template. Thus, the hotkey persists across documents.

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