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Shared Autocorrect List in Outlook RRS feed

  • Question

  • Our company has trademarks that are spelled differently and are supposed to be formatted a specific way. Along with adding the unique spelling to a custom dictonary we will deploy, we are hoping to create an autocorrect list for our users to have, that will automatically change the trademark name to the correct spelling and format. We are able to accomplish this in Word by adding a global template and not overwrite their normal.dotm file, but there doesn't seem to be a way to do the same with Outlook 2010.

    Since formatted AutoCorrect lists are stored in the normalemail.dotm file, we can't use an acl file addition. Apparently too, the formatted autocorrect entries aren't shared between Outlook and Word. We really don't want to overwrite any personal autocorrect information users may have created, just add the company specific ones to it.

    Suggestions?

    • Moved by HARVEYY - MSFT Wednesday, May 25, 2011 6:45 PM Word Issue not Outlook (From:Outlook IT Pro Discussions)
    Thursday, May 12, 2011 1:23 PM

Answers

  • Hello,

    Thank You for the clarification, and testing that you did.

    Unfortunately the behavior of the autocomplete lists, and building blocks is a limitation of the product (Outlook & Word) at this time. I have passed on your feedback to the product group for consideration going forward.

    For assistance with customizing the macro you referenced above, I would suggest making a post over in those forums to see if anyone has experience working with similar code.

    Thanks!


    RKeith - [MSFT]
    • Marked as answer by Max Meng Monday, June 6, 2011 6:51 AM
    Friday, June 3, 2011 8:52 PM

All replies

  • Hello,

    I have discussed this with some of our Word engineers, and the settings in question should be common between full Word, as well as the Word stub used by Outlook.  So, that means you are not seeing what we would expect you to see.

    The first question I need to know is, what version of Word are you running?  Do you also have Word 2010 installed on this machine?

    If you do not, then that would account for the diference in behavior, as Outlook will be using a Word 2010 stub, and not your other version of Word that is installed.

     


    RKeith - [MSFT]
    Wednesday, May 25, 2011 7:37 PM
  • I actually have two machines set up to play with this whole scheme. One machine is using Outlook 2010 with Word 2002 and understandably they don't share anything. I completely understand that limitation.

    The other machine is running the full Office 2010 suite. The formatted autocorrect entries (such as a trademark that should be in small caps) that I created in Word 2010, do not show up in Outlook 2010 when typing a new message.

    Research on many forums and sites has indicated to me that because the formatted autocorrect entries are stored in the normal.dotm and normalemail.dotm files respectively for each program, that they cannot share these. Because the formatting is the essential part of what needs to be corrected, we can't just use an acl file that would be accessible by all programs.

    I have tried attaching a global template, with the autocorrect entries in it, to the normalemail.dotm  file (by opening it in Word), but it does nothing when the file is opened. Technically, we could just overwrite the normal files for both programs for the users, but I really don't want to limit them to only the company-wide entries and not be able to have their own personal ones. (Especially our power users.)

    This is just my opinion, but storing autotext, autocorrect and other such customizations in the normal files seems like a bad idea. I've seen those files get corrupted easily and one of the first solutions for fixing that problem is to let Word and Outlook create a new one. Well, that means you just lost all your customizations! Plus it doesn't allow for companies to fully utilize the power of Office in regards to a corporate-wide need, without limiting the user's personal needs. What woudl be REALLY nice would be to have Word and Outlook pull this information from two sources, a personal store and if necessary a global one AND keep it in a place that won't corrupt easily.

    The new Building Blocks feature DOES this and it's fantastic. I can just stick a template containing corporate Building Blocks into the users' Building Blocks Folder and update it if necessary without disturbing any that they have created. (Sadly Outlook doesn't use this file either, it only has the autotext gallery that it stores, of course, in normalemail.dotm and that's not shared with Word either. So much functionality is lost when the same data has to be recreated and updated in two places.)

     

    Wednesday, May 25, 2011 8:27 PM
  • Hello,

    Sorry for the delayed response.  It does appear that the autocorrect list can not be shared in a manner that will suit your needs.  So, I looked further into using Building Blocks in Outlook.

    Symptom
    In Microsoft Office Outlook 2010, when you open a new message, click on the Insert tab on the Ribbon, then click on the body of the message, clicking the Quick Parts button does not show a command that will allow you to access the Building Blocks Manager.

    Cause
    This is a limitation in Outlook 2010

    Workaround
    To workaround this issue, use either of the following:
    1. In a new email item, add the command manually by right-clicking anywhere on the Ribbon and clicking the Customize Quick Access Toolbar command. Using the All Commands group of commands, add the Building Blocks Organizer command.
    2. Another option is to click on the Quick Parts button on a new message, right-click on any of the existing building blocks, then click on the Organize and Delete command from the context menu that appears.

    Take a look at this, and see if this will allow you to workaround the autocorrect list limitation.

    Thanks,


    RKeith - [MSFT]
    Friday, June 3, 2011 3:32 PM
  • Perhaps you misunderstood what I was saying about the Building Blocks feature. Word stores these items completely seperate from the normal.dotm template and allows for several building block template files to be stored in the folder for Building Blocks in the user's %AppData% folders. This means we can easily push out company-wide building block templates to that folder and update them as needed without interferring with any personally created building blocks each user may have created.

    However...both Word and Outlook don't store formatted autocorrect entries in this manner and I think it's a flaw in the design. There is no easy way to let users have their own autocorrect lists, in addition to being able to deploy a company wide set. All autocorrect entries are in either the normal.dotm or normalemail.dotm files. (Which, as I also stated, can be easily corrupted and all those entries are lost.)

    Building Blocks are a terrific feature, but is not an acceptable method for us with this. The method that will work for our needs is the autocorrect feature.

    Also, the method above is only partially correct. Outlook does not store its building blocks in the same area that Word does. Outlook stores them in normalemail.dotm and the programs do not share this file. So any building blocks a user has access to in Word, have to be re-created in Outlook or Vice-Versa.

    Feel free to pass along a note to the engineers that I am by far not the only person out there that wonders why the system works this way. I completely get why Outlook and Word aren't sharing the same normal files anymore, as well as why they gave Outlook a small version of Word for email editing, but there was a large loss in functionality of shared features that hasn't been addressed.

    It would be a really good idea for them to look into allowing things like autocorrect, macros, and other customized features in a seperate template area and be allowed to have a company set of these items be used alongside a user set.

    Friday, June 3, 2011 4:22 PM
  • And also to address some solution possibilities for this...

    I've found in some research that a macro exists for backup and restore of autocorrect entries, however, this macro only updates the normal.dotm file and not the normalemail.dotm file. http://jay-freedman.info/ is the website where I found it.

    Is there anyway to modify this macro to both run automatically and check for an updated backup file AND work for both the normal.dotm file and normalemail.dotm file? This would need to be something we can easily deploy to all users as well.

     

    Another possibility is that I've discovered by unzipping both normal files, the autocorrect entries are stored in a document.xml under "glossery". I don't know if there's a programatic way to append to this xml file with new entries as needed.

    Any suggestions?

    Friday, June 3, 2011 4:29 PM
  • Hello,

    Thank You for the clarification, and testing that you did.

    Unfortunately the behavior of the autocomplete lists, and building blocks is a limitation of the product (Outlook & Word) at this time. I have passed on your feedback to the product group for consideration going forward.

    For assistance with customizing the macro you referenced above, I would suggest making a post over in those forums to see if anyone has experience working with similar code.

    Thanks!


    RKeith - [MSFT]
    • Marked as answer by Max Meng Monday, June 6, 2011 6:51 AM
    Friday, June 3, 2011 8:52 PM
  • Ladybug,
     
    You are not the first person to complain about the inability to share formatted AutoCorrects between Word and Outlook since 2007. There are no easy answers, or ideal solutions, but ....
     
    It is possible, though not entirely straightforward, to write a macro in Outlook that will pull formatted AutoCorrects out of Normal.dotm and write them to your NormalEmail.dotm. This would, of course, mean that the macro was made available to Outlook users, and that they run it themselves.
     
    Also, although I don't know how to automate it off the top of my head, I'm sure it would be possible to add the relevant xml to the NormalEmail dotm.
     
    All that said, what is it that you are doing in Word with a global template? Formatted AutoCorrects can only be held in your Normal template.
     
     
     
     

    Enjoy,
    Tony
    www.WordArticles.com
    Saturday, June 4, 2011 12:16 PM
  • Yep...figured the global template part out. I thought for some reason (maybe wishful thinking) that like other things, they could be stored in a global template and added on to the normal template that way.

    Guess I'll see if anyone can help me with some sort of coding do make one of ideas work. (We'd LOVE for it to be automated. The less our users have to do on their own, the better.)

    Monday, June 6, 2011 2:12 PM
  • I agree with Ladybug. Word and Outlook integration used to be much better when it came to Autotext and Autocorrect. It's unfortunate that an integrated Suite of products becomes less integrated when updated. This needs to be given attention.
    Tuesday, May 13, 2014 3:58 PM
  • So here we are in 2016 using Office 2016 and the same problem exists. What should be a tightly integrated suite of programs (STILL) can't share autocorrect entries between Outlook and Word.

    The fact that they share unformatted entries must just be to make us crazy.

    Is there any sense in hoping MS will ever address this?

    Friday, June 24, 2016 8:20 PM
  • You can share unformatted AutoCorrect entries. AutoText and other Building Blocks are solely operational in Word.

    Charles Kenyon Madison, WI

    Saturday, June 25, 2016 8:59 PM
  • You can share unformatted AutoCorrect entries. AutoText and other Building Blocks are solely operational in Word.

    Charles Kenyon Madison, WI

    Saturday, June 25, 2016 9:00 PM