Turning off Date AutoComplete in Word 2007

In microsoft.public.word.docmanagement, someone complained that Word 2007 offers to autocomplete days, months, and dates. Someone responded by posting the following URL, http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/word/HA100997751033.aspx, which explains that it’s Word’s AutoComplete feature, and cannot be turned off. That would be fine–if it were actually true.

As it turns out, there actually is a way to turn this off in Word 2007, the statement to the contrary in that article notwithstanding. If you run the following macro, date AutoComplete should no longer occur:

Sub TurnOffAutoComplete()
Application.DisplayAutoCompleteTips = False
End Sub

Or, if you prefer a toggle, replace False with Not(Application.DisplayAutoCompleteTips).

The problem was that AutoText autocomplete was causing problems in the Office 2007 beta because of the way Building Blocks were implemented. So, autocomplete for AutoText was removed. In Word 2003 and earlier, the autocomplete checkbox control both dates AND AutoText. In Word 2007, they disabled autocomplete for AutoText, but left it enabled for Dates.

At the same time they removed the checkbox from the interface, they nonetheless left the command in the object model. Hence, you can use this command to turn off the parts of autocomplete that were NOT removed.

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17 Responses to Turning off Date AutoComplete in Word 2007

  1. Martin Gifford says:

    Oh my God, it worked!

    Thanks Herb!

    Why didn’t Microsoft think of that?

    BTW, is it possible to make the QAT bigger and floatable and accessible with a keystroke in Full Screen View, so that I move it where I want it and see everything. If you find that then you will be my personal hero, and I will stop hating Microsoft and the ribbon! (One would think it is easy. I was surprised the MS didn’t make any interface improvements with SP1.)

  2. herbt3 says:

    What you see is what you get, I’m afraid–the QAT can’t be detached or resized, or accessed in full screen view. Only time will tell if any of this will be added in Word 14.

  3. Malchook says:

    I’ve done this for a couple of people in the office. I want to be able to copy it onto heaps of pcs as requested. I’ve looked in the organiser and can’t see how to do this (all I see is NewMacros). Can you give me some hints about how to distribute this very handy macro to the masses??
    With thanks.

  4. herbt3 says:

    One way is to create a dedicated AutoCompleteOff.dotm file that contains just that macro, along with a QAT button that’s assigned to the macro–the QAT item would need to be stored in the dedicated file, as well. If you then copy this file to their trusted files list, they could then just open it and click on the QAT button to run the macro. If I were doing this, I’d include a 2nd macro and button to turn AutoComplete back on.

    In Word 2010, by the way, AutoText entries stored in global templates (such as Normal.dotm) will again feature AutoComplete (the ones stored in the building blocks.dotx files will not). Moreover, there will be a setting in the Options for turning AutoComplete off.

  5. Carlyn says:

    Thank you very much – I was slowly going insane trying to find a way to turn this off!

  6. Ian says:

    I almost never reply to these things but you deserve a big thank-you. This worked. It has been bugging me for years! Love your work.

  7. herbt3 says:

    Glad to have been of some help.

  8. Jess says:

    Thanks so much for this, had to also teach myself how to run a macro, but that’s fine, all part of the learning experience!

  9. Manda says:

    And a huge thank you from me too. Delighted to hear that Word 2010 will again feature AutoComplete as well as a setting in the Options for turning it off. Suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that MS never considered how irritating it would be for the year at the end of a date to be auto-completed with an additional month and date when you press Return, and how turning this off is the first thing most long in the tooth Word users do on being presented with a new installation of Word – but I still find myself being so frustrated and annoyed at their seeming lack of awareness of real user needs. In fact, why ‘fix’ what wasn’t ‘broke’ in the first place? ie the pre 2007 highly polished eminently customisable interface etc. The Ribbon seems such a backwards step …….. And F1 is no help! Thank you again for the macro SO much.

  10. Nat says:

    Thank you very much! This has been bugging me for an age. I’m so pleased to have found this blog via google!

  11. Jill says:

    Hey could someone post a step to step guide for this. I am not very technically minded but this is driving me crazy…Thanks

  12. herbt3 says:

    Here’s the easiest way. In Word, do the following:

    1. Press Alt+F11. This will open a Visual Basic window.
    2. Press Ctrl+G to put the insertion point into the Immediate window (near bottom of window).
    3. Type or copy/paste the following: Application.DisplayAutoCompleteTips = False
    4. With the insertion point right after the word False, press Enter.

    That will run the necessary command. If you later want to turn it back on, change False to True and do the same thing.

  13. Alan says:

    Thanks for this Herb Рyou have saved my sanity. I was going insane trying to stop the !ӣ$%^ thing appearing every time I started to type a date.

  14. Julie says:

    Thank you – thank you – thank you!! Saved my sanity too! Why DO Microsoft treat everyone like idiots …

  15. Don says:

    I too thank you for saving my sanity.
    What clowns MS are.
    Don’t know why I bought 2007 in the first place.
    Nothing wrong with the previous version and a damn sight easier to work out what to do.

  16. Glena says:

    Thanks for this, especially Herbt3 for including the Visual Basic part – worked a treat.

  17. dick wildblood says:

    Many thanks for showing the way to turn off auto complete date. I’d sat here for two hours trying to figure it out. I wonder if Microsoft realize just how much time their foibles waste!

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