Welcome to Blaisdell's Little Corner of the Web

Home Browsers Microsoft Office 97 Site Search Windows

Freeware | Freeware From A-Z | Security | Virus Information

Office Index II | Office Index I |                                                    | This site was Updated on  03/13/2006 |

Welcome to Page 2 of Bohunky0's Word Aid 

  2. What are em dashes and en dashes? How do you use em? How do you create em?
  5. Decorative Boarders in Word 97
  6. Keystrokes for Word Alignment

  14. Tracking Changes in Word is simple, If you know the Tools - A Woody's Office Watch Solution
  19. What to do if the fonts become unintelligible-Microsoft Knowledgebase Article
  26. Using a Wildcard search in Word

Return to MsWord Main Index
Return to Word Aid, First Page Index

Using a Wildcard search in Word

As you might expect, if you check the Use wildcards box, searching for a ? matches any single character, and searching for a * matches any string of characters. So, for example, with the Use wildcards box checked, searching for gr?n matches grin but not groan; searching for pa*l matches both pal and pall.

When you search using wildcards, upper and lower case matter. For example, with the Use wildcards box checked, searching for j*n matches john but not John. Odd, eh?


Word has something akin to a programming language that lets you specify enormously complex match patterns.

[abc] Matches one and only one of the indicated characters. Searching for l[aei]g matches lag and leg, but not log.

[A-Z] Matches one and only one of the characters in the indicated range. Searching for H[A-O]G matches HAG and HOG but not HUG.

[!abc] Matches any single character that is not on the list. Searching for m[!ou]d matches mid and mad but not mud.

[!a-z] Matches any single character that is not in the indicated range. Searching for h[!a-m]m matches hum but not ham or him.

< Means that the next character must appear at the beginning of a word. <[m-z] matches might and reason but not back. <gr matches grab and grubby but not gack.

> Means that the preceding character must appear at the end of a word. [m-z]> matches lop and oz, but not ball.

{n,m} Means that the preceding character must appear between n and m times. Bo{2,4}m matches boom and boooom but not boooooom. (If there is no "m", it means the character must appear at least "n" times.)

@ is the same as {1,}

\ Makes Word search for the following character, even if it's a wildcard. Searching for sh\*t will match sh*t but not shot.


Problem You would like to place some ClipArt over existing text in a Word document. The problem is that you can't seem to get the ClipArt to go where you want it. When you drag the picture to a new location, the text moves to make room for it.  

Solution What you are experiencing is the default condition for inserted ClipArt. To place ClipArt over text, right-click the picture and choose Format Picture. When the Format Picture dialog box opens, click the Wrapping tab and (under Wrapping Style) select None. Click OK to close the dialog box and save your new settings. Now you'll find that you can move the picture over existing text.


This is an old tip but it bares repeating after all of the emails I have been getting about it.

To get back to where you worked last, the next time you open a Word document, press Shift-F5. You can also press Shift-F5 to get back to where you were working after you scroll through a document.


If you have a long document and would like to check the styles you used, just press Shift-F1. The cursor turns to a question mark and a pointer. Click in the text you want to know about, and Word opens a dialog box telling you all about the style (its font, formatting, and so on).

This feature is called What's This, and you can also open it by choosing Help, What's This. Press Esc to turn off the option.

What are em dashes and en dashes? How do you use em? How do you create em?

An en dash is slightly longer than a hyphen. You would ordinarily use an en dash to separate letters and numbers. For example, you would use an en dash in the phrase "Figure 1-A."

An em dash is even longer than an en dash. You would use it to set apart a phrase. For example, you would use em dashes in the phrase "He said--with almost everyone listening--that the speech was over." Not a good example, perhaps, but you get the idea.

Now, how do you create en dashes and em dashes? If you haven't made any changes in AutoCorrect, you can create an em dash by simply typing two hyphens immediately after a word. Then you start another word without typing a space. The two hyphens turn into an em dash.

To create an en dash (also using AutoCorrect), type a space after the last character before the en dash, then type two hyphens. Now, type another space and then type the next character. This produces an en dash between the two characters in question.

If you have changed AutoCorrect or don't want to activate it, you can click where you want an em dash to appear and hold down the Alt key while you type 0151 on the numeric keypad to enter an em dash. Or you can hold down the Ctrl-Alt keys at the same time as you type the minus sign (-) on the numeric keypad. To enter an en dash, hold down Alt and type 0150 on the numeric keypad.


Word can search in two different modes - with or without wildcards. To switch between the two modes, you either check or clear the box on the Edit | Find dialog that says "Use wildcards".

Wildcards aren't the ones you're used to in Las Vegas - these wildcards are special characters that stand for a group of normal characters. If you remember the old DOS days you'll remember using wildcards like DIR *.DOC to show only the documents - the * is a wildcard.

If you search without wildcards, Word looks for text that matches, precisely, whatever you type in the Find what box. For example, if you type b*t in the Find what box, and do NOT check the Use wildcards box, Word will look for the letters b*t in the document.

Except. There's always a "but", right?

With the Use wildcards box unchecked, if you use a ^ caret, you'll get the following wildcard-like results:

^? Any character
  ^# Any digit
  ^$ Any letter
  ^p Paragraph mark
  ^t Tab
  ^d Field
  ^w White space (spaces, nonbreaking spaces, and tabs in any order)
  ^f Footnote mark
  ^e Endnote mark
  ^b Section break

So, for example, searching for ^$ar^$^? will match Car54. with wildcards turned off. So even if you've set wildcards off in Word, you can still use wildcards in your searches.

With wildcards off, if you really want to find a caret, you need to precede it with another caret. Thus searching for ^^! will match ^! but not ^^ or ^^!. Confusing? Yep.

If you check the box marked Use wildcards, and try to use any of those caret-combinations listed above, they simply won't work.


Have Word automatically insert a caption when you inserted a picture. Now you choose Insert, Caption and click OK, but nothing happens.

You haven't lost the option, it just isn't activated. Open a blank document and choose Insert, Caption. When the Caption dialog box opens, click AutoCaption. This will open the AutoCaption dialog box. You now need to select the file types for which you want to have an automatic caption appear. For example, you might need to use an AutoCaption only with ClipArt pictures. If so, scroll down through the list and select the check box beside Microsoft Clip Gallery.

After you make all your selections, click OK to close the dialog box and save your settings. Choose Insert, Picture, ClipArt and double-click a picture to insert it into the document. At this point, the caption should appear under the ClipArt picture. You can use the mouse to position the caption where you want it.

Decorative Boarders in Word 97

You can add decorative borders in Word 97 as well as in Word 2000. To add a decorative border to your invitation page, choose Format, Borders And Shading. When the Borders And Shading dialog box opens, click the Page Border tab. Now click the arrow at the right side of the Art list box (at the bottom of the dialog box). Select a border from the list, then click OK to apply your selection and close the dialog box.

Keystrokes for Word Alignment

Here are the keystrokes that apply to text alignment:

Ctrl-L = Left-aligned text
Ctrl-E = Centered text
Ctrl-R = Right-aligned text
Ctrl-J = Fully justified text

For example, if you want to center existing text, you can click in the
paragraph to center and press Ctrl-E.

Ctrl-C has special meaning to the Windows operating system, so Word
doesn't use it for text centering.


Place a toolbar buttton on your tool bar

To do this, run Word and choose View, Toolbars, Customize. When the Customize dialog box opens, click the Commands tab. In the Categories list, select All Commands. Now, move to the Commands list and use the mouse to drag the NextWindow command to the Word toolbar. Click OK to accept the default name and close the dialog box.

"When you click the new NextWindow button, Word switches to another loaded document."


Is there some way to get Word to automatically replace the double spaces with single spaces?

Yes, there is. Press Ctrl-H to open the Find And Replace dialog box. In the Find What entry box, enter a period followed by two spaces. Now move to the Replace With entry box and enter a period followed by one space. Click Replace All, and Word will straighten out the spacing for you.

The only problem with this method is that Word may replace some double spaces you want to keep. Entering the period followed by the spaces may cut down on problems, since you will replace the extra space only after a period.


AutoText is very flexible. You can add just about anything you want. Try this: Open a document and select a paragraph. Choose Insert, AutoText, AutoText. When the dialog box opens, you'll see part of the first sentence of your selected paragraph in the entry box. Click Add to store the paragraph in AutoText.

You can now add your paragraph just as you would any other AutoText--click at the insertion point, choose Insert, AutoText, AutoText and double-click your entry to insert it into your document.


You now have a hyphenated last name, and have run across a Word problem, you had never thought about before. What happens is that Word often splits hyphenated names onto two lines. Is there a way to get Word to put your entire last name on a single line?

Suppose your name is Julian Carrington-Smith. What you do is type the name up to the hyphen, then press Ctrl-Shift-hyphen (-) and type the second part of the name. When you press Ctrl-Shift-hyphen, the hyphen that appears will look like an em-dash. This is not a problem, since the hyphen will print properly.



Speaking of newly updated lists on the Microsoft Web site....

Have you ever used Word to run an industrial-strength mail merge, with the data being provided by the Outlook Contacts list? Have you ever had trouble figuring out which fields listed in the Word "Merge" dialog box correspond to what fields in your Outlook Contacts?

You aren't alone.

Here's what you'll find: pure pandemonium. The Outlook Contact field called "Job Title" is identified as "Title" in the Word Merge dialog box. That one's easy to guess. But did you know that Outlook's "Suffix" field, which contains the Contact's name's suffix - say, the III in William Gates IIII, or the Jr. in Robert Downey, Jr. - becomes "Generation" in Word Merge? Bet you wouldn't guess that one in a thousand years. How about "Other Fax" in Outlook, which becomes "Primary_Fax" in Word?

Worse - many of the fields in your Outlook Contacts entries aren't even available in a Word Merge. Contacts has, oh, Birthday. Word Merge has squat. Contacts has Nickname. El Zippo in Word. You can't even pull the Middle Name, or the PO Box from a Contact and put it in a Word Merge. It's crazy.

At least Microsoft has an updated list of what's available - and what isn't - when you try a Word Merge using Contacts data. Check out http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q197/7/16.asp .

Men may be from Mars and women from Venus, but Word sits here on Earth and Outlook acts like it's on Alpha Centauri.

Makes you wonder if anybody in Redmond actually uses Word and Outlook together, eh?

Taken from WOW~Woddy's Office Watch. Get your own copy of WOW by emailing a request to wow@wopr.com


If you use Word most of the time, you might find it convenient to create an Excel worksheet right in a Word document. Why run Excel and then copy and paste if you don't have to?

To insert the Excel worksheet, click where you want the sheet to appear in your Word document and choose Insert, Object. When the Object dialog box opens, click the Create New tab. Now select Microsoft Excel Worksheet from the list and click OK to insert the worksheet.

You can now do whatever you like with the worksheet. Just to test it out, enter


in cells A1 through A3. Now click cell A5, type


and press Enter. Cell A5 should display 6 at this point. Click anywhere outside of the worksheet, and it will turn into what looks like a normal Word table.

To modify your worksheet data, just double-click to open it as a worksheet again.


It depends on what you're writing, but it certainly is possible to have Word's grammar checker set to too-strict rules. To check this, run Word and choose Tools, Options. When the Options dialog box opens, click the Spelling & Grammar tab. Under Grammar, click the arrow at the right side of the list box labeled Writing Style and select Casual from the list. Click OK to close the dialog box and apply your new setting.

Casual is the least stringent style for the grammar checker. We must caution you that the Word grammar checker (or any word processor's grammar) is far from the best way to learn English grammar. The grammar checker often produces some really strange suggestions. For example, when we type the phrase "select the check box," the Grammar checker often suggests changing it to "select the check boxes."

You may have heard all the flap over MetaData concerning Word documents. Well here is a little information about that from Woody's Office Watch:


Metadata is data about data. Metadata is data associated with an object, such as an email message, Word document, or Web page. The metadata can tell you about the sender or creator of the object, or it can tell you about the people who view that object. So that when you access a Web site, the site can collect data about you and what you looked at on that site. Have you ever noticed that when you access a site like Amazon.com and enter the name of a topic in the search box, that the "ads" on the page display something "related" to what you searched for? The site sees what your are searching for and tailors the ads to that topic/subject. Sounds pretty harmless right?

In terms of Word, metadata is a fancy word used by Microsoft to obscure the facts. In every Word document there's hidden information that is carried with the document file at all times. Some of it is obvious like the authors name but others aren't so apparent.

For example, the information about past edits and changes is kept in the document so the Undo feature can work. With a bit of work you can see that information and when you're sharing a document that could be dangerous. Take a company that's sending a draft contract document to another party, the other side can access the past edits to get some idea of the internal discussions; this could give them an upper hand in the negotiations.

It was also discovered a few years ago that every Word document has a hidden tag that can trace that document back to a particular computer. For confidential purposes this may not suit you and Microsoft came under considerable fire for putting that tag in without notifying their customers.

Woody is really Alfred Poor autor of, "The Moter of all Windows". When ever I have a problem in search of a solution I get my information from one of Woody's information sheets. Take a look at some of the very best in Office Product Literature

* Woody's Office Watch
Or you may check the archives.asp

Tracking Changes in Word is simple, If you know the Tools - A Woody's Office Watch Solution

Some people think you have to be connected to the Web, or have a company network, to keep track of changes made to a document. Balderdash. The tools are built into Word, and they work whether you're relying on a sophisticated document routing system - or a pimply teenager who runs between cubicles with a doc on a diskette. If you need to see what's been done to a doc, there's really nothing to it.



Generally, change tracking (what Word calls "Track Changes" or "Revision Tracking") comes up in one of two situations. Either you have a copy of a document, and want to see how it differs from another (presumably older) version of the document. Or you know in advance that people are going to be hacking your precious words to pieces, and you want to keep track of what they change.

In the former case, you have Word compare the older and newer versions of the document, and use its tools to either Accept or Reject the changes that have been made. In the latter case, you tell Word to keep track of things as changes are made to the document - and then you use its tools to either Accept or Reject the changes that have been made. Kinda... symmetric, eh?

There's one spiffy bonus to setting Word up to track changes before the fact: Word will keep track of who made changes, and when. Send the document around for edits to a handful of people, and each person's edits appear in a different color, properly coded and tagged with the author's name and time. That way, if your boss made changes at midnight the night before that big report is due, you can interpret them in whatever way you feel is appropriate. (Uh, anybody for "Reject All"?)


If you know that your document is going to be edited, and you want to track the changes, simply open the document, click Tools, Track Changes, Highlight Changes, and put an X in the box marked Track Changes while Editing.

To make sure that everybody who works on the document keeps that little box checked (and believe me, it's a big headache if you have somebody who tends to click first and ask questions later), it's also important that you "protect" the document, forcing all those editors to keep their changes tracked. You do that by clicking on Tools, Protect Document, and checking the box marked Tracked Changes. You'll have to provide a password to "unprotect" the document - anyone who knows the password can make changes without having them tracked.

As soon as you've protected the document for changes, everyone who opens the document (except you) will have their changes tracked


If you didn't have the foresight to set up Word so it tracks changes in a document, you can always do a document-to-document compare after the changes have been made. If you perform such a compare, the resulting document looks just like a "prescient" document, except Word can't tell you who made the changes or when.

To do a document-to-document compare, open the original (presumably older) document. Click Tools, Track Changes, Compare Documents. Word will prompt you to open the modified (presumably newer) document, compare the two, close the newer document, and leave you with revision marks in the original document.


Once you have a document with revision marks in it - whether the revision marks originated via the prescient or the ex-post-facto method - you can use the built-in tools provided by Word to review the changes one at a time, and either "Accept" them (i.e., have the final document reflect the revisions) or "Reject" them (tell Word that the changes can take a hike).

The most common way to march through a document, Accepting and Rejecting at will, is via the Accept or Reject Changes dialog box. You can bring up that dialog box by clicking on Tools, Track Changes, Accept or Reject Changes.

Clicking the "Find" button in the dialog box makes Word scan the document for the next change, highlight it, and wait for your instructions about whether you want to Accept or Reject the change. Click "Find" again and you go on to the next change, where you can Accept or Reject it, and so on.

There are also options to Accept All or Reject All. If you have a brilliant editor like I do (hi, Rick!), you can simply click Accept All and let your editor suffer the consequences. On the other hand, if you have an insufferable editorial boor unsplitting all your finely cracked infinitives and undangling your carefully dangled participles, you can tell 'em to stuff it with one click. Politely, of course.


Up until this week's edition of WOW, that was the whole story. Set Word up to Track Changes. Lock the doc. Then, with the revision marks in sight, use the Accept or Reject Changes dialog box to gleefully skip through the document, making the changes you see fit.

Then those pesky ne'er-do-wells went and gummed up the works, with the announcement that there's a bug in the Accept or Reject Changes dialog box. According to WOW (surely an unreliable source, if ever there were), if you use the Accept or Reject Changes dialog box, and you have a document with tables in it, and one of the tables has a row with more than one change in it, the dialog box may accidentally skip over all the changes in the row except the first one. Microsoft discusses the gaffe at their Knowledge Base site http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q246/4/86.asp .

I can just see Laurel and Hardy having conniptions over that one.

Fortunately, there's a workaround. The Reviewing Toolbar doesn't exhibit this buggy behavior. (Why? Who knows?) To bring up the Reviewing Toolbar, right-click on an empty space on any Word Toolbar, and check the box marked Reviewing.

The Reviewing Toolbar needs a bit of explanation, because it not only deals with searching for and Accepting/Rejecting changes, it also works with comments (see the next section), and it has three occasionally useful buttons for managing changes.

The first occasionally useful button immediately puts you in Outlook, ready to create a new Task for your To-Do List. Office loads a link to the current revision into the Task, so if you're looking at Tasks tomorrow or next week, you'll be able to easily jump to the place that had you stymied.

The second occasionally useful button saves a version of the current document. That can be helpful if you're entering a thorny section of edits, and want to save a "snapshot" before you continue. The downside? If you want to roll back to that snapshot, the only (sane) way to do it is to bring up the snapshot, and copy the entire document into a fresh, new document. Trying to roll back to a Word doc snapshot and edit from that point on without starting fresh is like trying to back up on a six-lane highway, turn around and take off in the opposite direction.

The third occasionally useful button pops you into Outlook again, this time with a message already primed, and the document attached. I've never used that button - it strikes me as a "Oh ^%$#@!, I better bail out and dump this problem on somebody else" approach.

Come to think of it, maybe I should learn to use that third button more often.


Many people who are new to Word will learn how to use comments, or how to track changes, but not both. As a result, you'll see many documents passed around that have edits where they should have comments, or vice-versa. (I won't mention any multi-million dollar book publishers by name.)

There's a fundamental difference between a comment and a (tracked) edit. It would behoove you to educate your editors, bosses, co-workers, kibitzers, and anybody else who might be making changes to your documents.

Tell your editors this: if they want you to change the words in your document in a very precise way - that is, if they want you to adopt the precise language that they have proposed - they should go ahead and edit the document directly. Their changes will appear as tracked edits, and you can go through and easily decide if you want to modify your breathless prose to conform to their (no doubt pedestrian) wishes.

On the other hand, if your editors have some suggestions, ideas, or points for you to consider - just about anything other than a specific, precise block of text - they should use a comment to cast their pearls. Comments are easy to look at and respond to, but it's comparatively difficult to pull text from a comment into a document.

To place a comment in a document, highlight the text that's deserving of comment, click Insert, Comment, and type away in the comment pane. The comment will appear in the document as a light yellow highlight. Hover your mouse next to the highlight and the comment appears. Right-click on the comment, and you can edit or delete it.

In short, the people who are changing your document should make changes that they want to see in the final document directly in the document itself (with revision tracking turned on). They can make comments about the changes - or anything else, for that matter - in, uh, comments.


Let's use a ClipArt picture as an example. Also, the easiest way to deal with a watermark in Word is to place it in the header, so we'll describe this technique.

Run Word and choose View, Header And Footer. Click in the Header area and choose Insert, Picture, ClipArt. Double-click a picture to insert it. Now you should have a floating toolbar named Picture. In this toolbar, click the second button from the left (Image Control) and choose Watermark from the list. Click the Text Wrapping button now (fourth from the right in the Picture toolbar). Select None from the list, then click Close in the Header And Footer toolbar.

To view your watermark as you work, choose View, Page Layout. The watermark will not show in the Normal mode. If you need to make adjustments to your watermark (resize it, relocate it, and so on) choose View, Header And Footer and make the required changes.


In WordPerfect, you created a Macro that had a pause in it, when the Macro would stop and prompt you to add the variable information. Now you want to know if there is such a thing in Word?

Here's a sample of how to input to a variable. To enter this code, run Word and press Alt-F11. Choose Insert, Module and type the following:

Sub getVariable()
MessageText = "Enter a Number"
Title = "Input Variable Value"
DefaultVal = "0"
VarValue = InputBox(MessageText, Title, DefaultVal)
MsgBox VarValue
End Sub

Choose File, Save Normal to save the macro.

When you run getVariable, the Input box will open. You must either enter a number or accept the default to continue. The Message Box simply displays the value you entered. You can modify this simple macro to suit your own needs. This will get you started.


"I'm really at a loss with Word 97 Headers And Footers. I can get a header or footer going OK, but how do I suppress it on the first page? I tried Help but am having trouble inserting the proper break."

Open your document and go to page 2. Choose View, Header And Footer. Enter whatever you need in the header, then click Page Setup in the floating toolbar (its icon is an open book). When the Page Setup dialog box opens, click the arrow at the right side of the Applies To list box and select This Point Forward.

Now click Close to return to your document. Your header will not appear on the first page, but will begin on the second page or whatever page you decide on. Just navigate to the correct page before you insert the header.


"I have a problem: I click Header And Footer in MS Word 97, select Footer, click Insert Auto Text, select Page X of Y and type in, for example, 1 of 15. I save the document. When I open up that document, it reads 1 of 1, 2 of 1, 3 of 1, and so on, instead of 1 of 15, 2 of 15, and so on. Do you have any solution? Please let me know."

Choose View, Header And Footer. Switch to Footer and choose Insert AutoText, Page X Of Y. Click Close. Choose File, Save to save the document. Choose File, Print Preview to check your footers.

This should give you the correct numbering.


If you want to run the second document in a separate window, load the file and choose Window, Arrange All. This displays both loaded documents and lets you toggle back and forth between them from the Windows menu. If you want to have two separate copies of Word running, each with its own document, load the first document as you normally would. Then run another copy of Word and choose File, Open to open the second document. Don't double-click a document for the second document, as this will simply load that document into the currently open Word 97.

Working With Word's Autocorrect

You have about 50 words in my Word 97 custom dictionary and know how to add to or edit this customized list. What you don't know is how to force Word 97 to stop on a correctly spelled word to make sure that the word is in fact the one I wish to use.

As an example, you routinely use the word 'public' in correspondence. If you type it as 'pubic,' Word does not flag it as misspelled because it is in fact a correct spelling. You want to somehow force Word 97 to stop on a designated properly spelled word to confirm that is the word you actually want to use.

I don't know of a way to do what you ask, but why not use AutoCorrect? Assuming that you would seldom, or ever, use the word "pubic," just let AutoCorrect turn it into "public."

Since this is a potentially dangerous route, you could use AutoCorrect to change the format of certain words and make them pop out at you. To see how this would work, open a blank document and type "pubic." Double-click to select the word, then click the arrow at the right side of the font size list box (it contains the name of your current font) and choose a larger size. Now click the Bold button in the toolbar.

With the word selected, choose Tools, AutoCorrect. Your word will appear in the With entry box. Select the radio button labeled Formatted Text. Click the Replace entry box and type in your word. Press Enter to apply your selection and close the dialog box.

Now, when someone types one of the words you've entered into AutoCorrect, it will jump out at them and give them the opportunity to change it. To remove the formatting, double-click the word and click Bold, then set the size back to normal in the font size list box.

Return to MsWord Index

Making Autocorrect Do The Work For You, Part 2

The AutoCorrect Options dialog box is located under Tools in most Microsoft Office and other Microsoft productivity applications (such as Microsoft Visio and Microsoft Project).

In this edition, we'll look at each of the remaining tabs - 

The features contained on the AutoText tab (or from the AutoText toolbar) have the 
most capacity to save you time.
- inserting graphics
- inserting formatted paragraphs
- inserting frequently used text
The AutoText entries which are shipped with Microsoft Word are designed specifically for 
letter writing applications, however you can add your own entries to speed your entry of 
frequently used blocks of text.  We'll look at several examples to see how you can create 
new entries, change an existing entry, and rename entries.  But let's just begin by looking 
around the AutoText tab of the AutoCorrect options dialog box.  To get to the tab, go to  
Tools | AutoCorrect options.  
- Click the AutoText tab.  
This tab has one option checkbox, a list of existing entries, and a preview window to see 
what will be inserted if you Insert an entry you have selected.  Along the right hand side 
of the dialog box are Add, Insert, and Delete buttons along with a Show Toolbar button.  
Each of these buttons is relatively self explanatory.  The Add button adds a new entry to 
the list, the insert button inserts a selected item into the current document and the 
delete button deletes an entry from the list of entries.  The Show Toolbar button turns on 
the AutoText toolbar. 
The single option checkbox on the tab is an important part of this tab.  To know whether 
you want this feature turned on or not, you need to understand what AutoText does for you.  
Any word or phrase that you enter into AutoText will appear in a tool tip as you're typing 
the first few letters of that word or a word with the same beginning.  If you want the 
suggested word (the AutoText entry) to be placed in your document, you can simply click the 
tab key or the enter key and the word will be entered into your document.  You can also enter 
an AutoText entry using the AutoText toolbar.  To turn on the AutoText toolbar either use 
the Show Toolbar button on the AutoText tab or go to View > Toolbars > AutoText.  
To enter a word or phrase using the AutoText toolbar click the All Entries button and select 
the category and then the entry you want. 
Creating A New EntryThe true power of AutoText comes from creating your own AutoText entries 
for those words, phrases, and paragraphs you type on a regular basis.  Your job title may be 
something you enter into documents on a regular basis.  Let's use the title Vice President 
for Financial Affairs.  Enter that into your word document.  Select the text you just typed.  
Open the AutoCorrect Options dialog box and select the AutoText tab.  
You'll see a preview of what you have selected in the preview window at the bottom and a 
shorter version of this entry in the "Enter AutoText entries here:" box.  What is entered 
in the AutoText entry box is what you will need to type in order to have this entry 
suggested for you.  You'll notice that the suggested name for this AutoText entry is not 
much shorter than the actual text you entered.  I suggest modifying this to something you 
can enter more quickly such as title.  Click OK and then try it out.  Type title (or whatever 
you entered as the autotext entry) and you should now see a tool tip that shows your entry 
and tells you to press Enter to insert.  You can either press enter or the tab key - both 
work just fine. 
You can also create an AutoText entry using the AutoText toolbar.  To do so, type the text 
you wish to use as AutoText.  Select the text with your mouse and click the New... 
button on the AutoText toolbar.  
You'll be asked to enter the name of the AutoText entry 
- remember this is the shortened version you will enter to have this text appear 
(such as our use of title above). Renaming An EntryRenaming an AutoText entry is one of 
those Word features which I have to look up how to do every single time I need to do it 
because it isn't something I do often and the method for doing it isn't all that easy to 
remember.  I'd prefer that Microsoft place a Rename button on the dialog box.  Instead, 
if you've misspelled name of your entry or simply want to change the name, you'll need to 
follow the following steps: 
1. Click Tools | Templates and Add-Ins.
2. Click the Organizer button at the bottom of this dialog box.
3. Select the AutoText tab.
4. From the box on left, select the entry to be renamed and then click the rename 
button in the center.
5. In the Rename dialog box enter the new name for the entry.
6. Click OK and then click Close.
You can now begin using the new AutoText name for this item. 
Changing An EntryLet's say you've just been promoted from Vice President for Financial 
Affairs to President of the Acme Corporation.  Being the efficient soul you are, you want 
to continue typing the word title in order to place your title in documents.  
Changing the entry is as simple as entering the new text, and then in the New entry dialog box,
give it the name of the existing entry.  For example, in the case of the example I've been 
using, I would do the following: 
1. Type President of the Acme Corporation and highlight it.2. Select New... from the 
AutoText toolbar or on the Insert menu select 
AutoText | New...
3. In the name dialog box, enter title.
Note for changing an entry, they tell you that you must first enter the existing entry, edit 
it, and then follow the steps above.  If you're making only minor changes to the entry that 
may be fastest, but in the case where we changed the entire entry that just adds an extra 
step you don't need to do.   Perhaps we should also have an Edit or Change button on the 
AutoText tab - after all there is plenty of room on the tab for these additional buttons. 
More Than Just Basic TextAutoText is useful for entering all sorts of things you type on a 
regular basis.  You can enter formatting, including tables and you can enter graphics.  
Let's say for example that you have a standard letterhead that includes your company's logo 
and then text identifying the company name, address, and other appropriate contact 
information.  There are many ways you could use this same information in every document 
such as creating a Microsoft Word template or printing on to prepared stock.  
But let's assume you want to use AutoText.  Create the enter mast of the letter head,
including the graphic of your company logo.  Add a line of return after the mast.  
Now select the entire mast.  Add a New AutoText entry following the same steps as above.  
This time, give it a name like letterhead or mast.  Each time you type that now it will 
enter all elements of the mast.


The AutoFormat as you Type tab allows Word to apply formats for you as you're entering your document.  

The two options 

- AutoFormat as you Type and 

- AutoFormat 

allow you to select the style of applying formatting that is right for you.  If you prefer to fix formatting options as you are typing, then you'll want to use the AutoFormat as you Type options.  If, however, you would prefer to review all AutoFormat options at one time, after you have typed a document, then uncheck the options on the AutoFormat as you Type tab.  Once you have typed your document and you're ready to apply formats, then go to the Format menu and select AutoFormat.  On the AutoFormat options dialog, you can select either to AutoFormat now - which will apply all selected AutoFormats to the document instantly - or you can select to review each change which will give you the option to accept or reject each change as you work through the document.  If you are not sure of which options you have selected to AutoFormat, you can click the Options button on the dialog box under

 Format | AutoFormat 

to see the AutoCorrect Options dialog and the AutoFormat tab.

Return to MsWord Index

Applies to Office XP only

We round out our look at the AutoCorrect Options dialog box with the SmartTags tab.  Smart Tags are a tool that allows you to save time by using Microsoft Word to perform actions you would ordinarily perform with other Microsoft Office applications.  The most common application is Microsoft Outlook.  If SmartTags are turned on, then common elements of a document such a names, phone numbers, and addresses will be underlined by a purple dotted line.  The purple dotted line indicates that there are SmartTag options available for that item.

Once you see an item in a document with the purple dotted line, hover over that document to bring up the SmartTag Options menu.  Click the menu to see the options available for that Smart Tag.  A person's name will allow you to Open that Contact (assuming you have that contact already saved in Microsoft Outlook), Schedule a Meeting, Add to Contacts, or Insert Address.  A date will allow you to Show your Calendar or Schedule a Meeting.

On the SmartTag tab under the AutoCorrect Options dialog box you can also check for additional smart tags.  Microsoft offers some additional Smart Tags as do third parties.  Information technology staff within an organization may also create Smart Tags which allow you to link out to other documents or databases in order to access important corporate information.

Return to MsWord Index

Auto correct Exceptions

With AutoCorrect's "Capitalize First Letter of Sentences" option checked, if you begin a sentence with a word in lowercase, Word would automatically change that first letter to upper case.  When you begin typing the sentence "the quick brown fox...” Word will
correct it to "The quick brown fox...".  That's just as you'd want.

The beginning of a paragraph obviously begins a sentence.  Within a paragraph, Word recognizes a period as the end of the sentence, and what follows to be the beginning of the next sentence.  Therein lies the problem: if you use an abbreviation within a sentence,
Word sees the period and thinks the next word should be capitalized.  For example, at BLCOW. we use "BLCOW." to refer to "Blasdell’s Little Corner of the Web".  Thus, if we type

   This is a B.L.C.O.W. article.

Word will change the text to

   This is a B.L.C.O.W. Article.

Oops.  That's clearly not what we want.

Creating the Exception List

There is more then one way to skin a word, ...uh...load Exception Lists

Here's how to create a list of exceptions to the "capitalize" rule:

1. From the Tools menu choose AutoCorrect Options.
2. On the AutoCorrect tab, click on the Exceptions button.
3. Choose the First Letter tab.
4. Type an abbreviation in the "Don't capitalize after" box and click Add.

Note the "Automatically add words to list" check box.  When checked, option tells Word to build the exception list as you edit your document.  Here's an example of the option in action:


   This is a B.L.C.O.W. article.

and the "a" in article is capitalized.  Immediately move to the "A" and make it lower case; Word will add " B.L.C.O.W." to the exception list. 

There's another way to add an exception to the list.  Note that when AutoCorrect changes the "a" to an uppercase "A" in "article," it puts a thick blue line underneath the "A".  If you click on that blue line, Word pops up a thunderbolt icon (for a Smart Tag (In Office XP only); click on the down-pointing arrow and choose "Stop Auto-capitalizing After
[word]" -- in this case, the menu option reads "Stop Auto-capitalizing After B.L.C.O.W."

There are more ways to add an Exception to the List:

As Word recognizes the first space, the previous word is capitalized as stated above.  If you click the Undo button, or type the shortcut Ctrl + Z, Word replaces the capital with the original letter, and adds the word to the exception list, thus preventing the word to be capitalized the next time you type it.

Initial Caps

With AutoCorrect's "Correct TWo INitial CApitals" option enabled, words that begin with two capital letters are changed to keep only the first letter in uppercase.  However, some abbreviations that you use may actually require two initial caps -- for example, the
phrase "user IDs" (as in user identifications).

To add an exception to the list, use the Tools | AutoCorrect Options command, click the Exceptions button, choose the "INitial CAps" tab, and add the word to the list.  As with "First Letter of Sentences," you can choose to add to the list when you make immediate corrections after an automatic correction by checking the ""Automatically add words to list" option.  You can also add words on the fly by clicking on the thick blue line Word displays when it makes an automatic correction.

Turning Off AutoCorrection

To prevent automatic corrections for first-letter and initial-caps situations, use the Tools/AutoCorrect Options command, choose the AutoCorrect tab, and un-check the appropriate box ("Capitalize first letter of sentences" or "Correct TWo INitial CApitals").


"I recently added a few photos from a digital camera to a Word document. I resized the photos before I inserted them into the document, and both were less than 50KB in size. After I imported them into the Word document, I checked the document size and it was 2MB. Why should my document get so large when I added only 100KB of pictures?"

It sounds like Fast Save is your problem rather than picture size. In Word, choose Tools, Options. When the Options dialog box opens, click the Save tab. Now deselect the check box labeled Allow Fast Saves, then click OK to close the dialog box and save your changes.

After you turn off Fast Save, you will find that all new Word files you create are smaller.

Return to MsWord Index

Entertainment Government Technology About Email Me