Question Please Help Me Choose the Most “Autotext Like” version of MS Office


Apr 18, 2010
Change is fine when it’s for the better, which is hardly the case these days with most things. We all know that Bill Gates couldn’t care less but countless users besides me have complained that Windows 10 and beyond won’t support Office 2003. Its trim and easy to use banner menu has since been replaced on all Office versions with a bunch of grossly overcrowded “ribbons” bloated with icons that makes you hunt like a bloodhound to find the feature you need.

Worst of all, Word 2003’s ultra quick and perfectly functional Autotext, which I’ve heavily relied on forever, was replaced with something called “parts” that requires more steps to be able to save and/or insert boilerplate text in a document when needed. It’s so convoluted I’ve yet attempted to use it in Office 2019 on my sister’s pc.

Office 2003 was simply perfect for users like me. But Bill Gates is legendary for reinventing the wheel, breaking users perfectly good wheels and thereby forcing us to buy his new one. It’s bad enough that Windows 10-which I’m now forced to “upgrade” to-won’t support Office 2003. But I also read that while Word 2003 may or may not work with or without compatibility mode, Excel 2003 won’t work at all on Windows 10, thus killing off my copy of same. And even if that’s not true it’s also been widely expected that some forthcoming Windows 10 update will eventually kill Office 2003. This in turn forces me to choose among and buy a “newer and improved” version of Office.

So that I can avoid receiving more nasty Microsoft surprises, please help me select which version, among Office 2013, 2016 and 2019 will best meet my needs:

1.) Which Office version has the Word feature that is most like Autotext in Word 2003?

2.) Otherwise, if following these steps fail to reclaim most Autotext functionality

then I will likely have to resort to using this software:;productListing

In that case, which if any, of the above Office versions are most likely to support this third party software?

3.) In addition to Word, Excel and Powerpoint, do Office 2013, 2016 and 2019 versions all include Access?
If not, how can I open and update my Access files?

4.) If I buy the full version of Office 2013, 2016 or 2019 on disc can I install it on all three of my Windows 10 computers?

5.) Where’s the best place to purchase the best Office version for me on disc?



Senior member
Oct 23, 2014
So why not stick to Word 2003? Have you tried all the compatibility features of Win10? What doesn't work on it? I'd be surprised that it doesn't run at all.


Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2020
Try LibreOffice. If it doesn't have the feature you want or it doesn't work the way you want, you can request a feature enhancement on their bugzilla portal. They are pretty good about tending to user needs.

Alternatively, you can run your Word 2003 copy in VirtualBox guest VM.


Diamond Member
Apr 7, 2003
Access was retired in ~2018, but then brought back as part of the 365 subscription. You would need to find an older standalone version of office, like 2016 that has Access if you really need it. Alternatively, if you just need to look at your data you can try the Access runtime. This will not allow you to create new forms or tables, but should allow you to open your current files.

Download Microsoft Access 2016 Runtime from Official Microsoft Download Center
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