About smart tags

You can save time by using smart tags (action tags: Data recognized and labeled as a particular type. For example, a person's name or the name of a recent Microsoft Outlook e-mail message recipient is a type of data that can be recognized and labeled with an action tag.) to perform actions (actions: Tasks that can be performed by using smart tags. For example, adding a name to a Microsoft Outlook Contacts folder is one action that might be taken with a person name smart tag.) in Microsoft Word that you'd normally open other programs to do.

The purple dotted lines beneath text in your document indicate the smart tags.

Smart tag indicator

Callout 1 Smart tag indicators

ShowHow to use smart tags

When Word recognizes types of data, it marks the data with a smart tag indicator, a purple dotted underline. To find out what actions you can take with a smart tag, move the insertion point over the underlined text until the Smart Tag Actions button Button image appears. You can then click the button to see a list of actions you can take.

Smart Tag Actions button

Callout 1 Smart Tag Actions button

Callout 2 Smart tag indicator

When you save a document, the smart tags are embedded so that they are available to anyone who opens the document. You can, however, choose not to embed smart tags when you save a document.

If you save as a Web page a Word document that contains smart tags, some tasks can be performed on the Web using Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 or later. You can also use smart tags in your Microsoft Outlook e-mail messages and in Microsoft Excel.

ShowHow smart tags work

You enable smart tags by selecting smart tag recognizers from a list (Tools menu, AutoCorrect Options command, Smart Tags tab). Each smart tag recognizer identifies a type of data, such as names, dates, or telephone numbers, and contains the logic needed to provide one or more actions for each data type.

When you type text into a new document or open an existing document, the logic in the smart tag looks for words that match the data types in the list. When the smart tag finds a match, it places a smart tag indicator — a dotted purple line — under the term and enables the appropriate actions.

The actions you can take depend on the type of data that Word recognizes and labels with a smart tag.

For example, "Nate Sun" in the previous example is recognized as a "person name" smart tag with actions you can take, such as Open Contact, Schedule a Meeting, Add to Contacts, or Insert Address.

If you select the Add to Contacts action, you can add the name and address to your Outlook contact folder without copying the information, opening Outlook, and then pasting the information into a contact card.

ShowHow to get more smart tags

The smart tags that come with Word are just the beginning. You can check for more options in the AutoCorrect dialog box (on the Tools menu, click AutoCorrect Options, click the Smart Tags tab, and then click More Smart Tags) to find new smart tags and actions on the Web.

You may find additional smart tags created by Microsoft, by third-party companies, or by Information Technology (IT) professionals, who may design smart tags and actions for the specific products or services that you work with. For example, if you work in a sales department, you might be able to click a "product name" smart tag in your document that offers actions such as "check quantity in stock" or "check price."

ShowSmart tag options

You can turn smart tags on or off, hide them, save them as part of a document, or save them as XML properties in Web pages.

ShowCreating smart tags and setting smart tag properties

Smart tags and actions are developed by Microsoft or third-party companies. Information Technology (IT) professionals may also create smart tags and actions that are customized for the specific products or services you work with.

Creators of smart tags can provide detailed information about a particular smart tag recognizer, which you can access by clicking Properties on the Smart Tags tab of the AutoCorrect dialog box. The Properties button is available only if the smart tag developer has provided information to be viewed when this button is clicked.

Other buttons you may see in your document

At times you may see other buttons that appear as you work in your document. Both the AutoCorrect Options button Button image and the Paste Options button Button image enable you to perform actions without clicking a button on a toolbar (toolbar: A bar with buttons and options that you use to carry out commands. To display a toolbar, press ALT and then SHIFT+F10.) or opening a dialog box.

ShowAutoCorrect Options button

The AutoCorrect Options button Button image first appears as a small, blue box when you rest the pointer near text that was automatically corrected. The box changes to a button icon when you point to it.

If you find on occasion that you don't want text to be corrected, you can undo a correction or adjust AutoCorrect options by clicking the button and making a selection.

ShowPaste Options button

The Paste Options button Button image appears below a block of pasted text. When you click the button, a list appears that lets you specify how Word pastes the information into your document.

The available options depend on the type of content you are pasting, the program you are pasting from, and the format of the text where you are pasting.

Applies to:
Word 2003