How can I import and export all my AutoCorrect entries, so they can be
transferred to another machine?
Article contributed by Dave Rado
AutoCorrect entries that were saved without formatting are stored in an acl
file; whereas entries that were saved with their formatting are stored in
Macros8.dot is installed by default in Word 97's \Microsoft
Office\Office\Macros\ folder. Macros9.dot is available here. Both include a macro utility written by Microsoft to
backup and restore all your AutoCorrect entries, and both versions of the macro work
up to a point with both versions of Word.
However, the Microsoft utilities don't cater for AutoCorrect entries that
consist of multiple paragraphs, or that contain tables; and if either are
encountered, the macro will fail to complete. So, with the permission of my contact
at Microsoft, I have written a new version of their utility (AutoCorrect.dot)
which does cater for such entries. It is an 18k zip file, which you can download
Note 1: AutoCorrect.dot will back up and restore
multi-paragraph AutoCorrect entries in either Word 97 or 2000. In Word 2000, it will
also back up AutoCorrect entries which contain tables. In Word 97, it won't back
up entries containing tables, but it will back up everything else, and if any
entries do contain tables, it will
warn you which entries it failed to back up, thus allowing you to back up and
restore those particular entries manually.
Note 2: The code used by the utility is not password protected, is easy
to follow if you have any knowledge of VBA, and can be tweaked if required. For
example, if you were planning a hardware
rollout to replace your users' PCs, you could call a routine from an AutoExec
macro which backed up everyone's AutoCorrect entries to files stored in
their user areas on the network; and you could subsequently call another routine
to restore them on their new machines. Both routines could use flags in the
registry (or in a text file) so that they would only run once.
Note that if you use this method, any entries on Machine 2 that are not on
Machine 1 will be lost. If you want to preserve them, you'll need to use Method
Furthermore, any AutoCorrect entries that were created with the Formatted
Text setting switched on
are not stored in the acl file they are stored in Normal.dot.
Method 1 will successfully back up and restore these entries as well.
Copy the relevant .acl file from the Windows directory (e.g. c:\windows\) on one machine to the same directory on
the other. In Word 97, the file is usually called [username]001.acl, but you can check what the filename
and path is (on both machines) by looking at the following registry key:
If the username is different on the second machine you
will, of course, need to rename the acl file after copying it over.
Word 2000 and above
Although Word 2000 does create a registry entry at:
... the information the registry entry gives is wrong! 1
In fact, Word 2000 and 2002 acl files are stored a path such as:
If using User Profiles, it is stored in a path such as:
The actual path is operating system-dependant.
You will find that there are several language-specific .acl files in the
relevant folder (all commencing MSO*.acl); and normally, only one of these
is actually used by
For instance, if your language is UK English, the file Word uses will be
MSO2057.acl. If it's American English it will be MSO1033.acl. The number used in the
filename is the so-called LocaleID, listed in the Microsoft
Knowledge Base article: WD2000:
Supported Language ID Reference Numbers (LCID). But if in doubt, just add an
AutoCorrect entry in Word, and then in Windows Explorer, see which acl file
changes its Last Modified date. (Or just copy all of the acl
files in the folder to your new system.)
If you have trouble finding the folder in which the acl file is stored, add
an AutoCorrect entry in Word, and then search your hard disk for *.acl files
modified in the last day, To do this, you can go into Windows Explorer and pres Ctrl+F
to Find; where it says Named, type *.acl; and on the Date tab, select Modified during the previous 1 day.
However, you will probably find Method 1 a lot simpler!
On my machine, for
instance, the registry claims that my Word 2000 AutoCorrect entries are stored
in C:\Windows\drado.acl; but they are not stored in that file, although
the file does exist! One of life's great mysteries ...
If you mark some text in a foreign language under Tools + Language + Set
Language, and then create a new AutoCorrect entry with that text highlighted, a
new MSO*.acl file will be created. But in addition, some MSO*.acl
files seem to be installed when you install Word.