Extract ACRONYMS to New Document

In some documents, you may use many acronyms (i.e. words formed from the initial letters of multi-word names, e.g. VBA for "Visual Basic for Applications"). It is helpful to include the definition/full name the first time you mention an acronym. Alternatively, you may want to create a list of all the acronyms and include the definitions in the list.

Here you will find both a macro and a free Word add-in that lets you extract all the acronyms of a document to a table in a new document. The table has room for the definitions and also shows the page number of the first page where each acronym is used. The acronyms will be sorted alphabetically.

In addition, you will find information about a third-party add-in that lets you manage acronyms incl. definitions.

Word add-ins ready for use

DocTools ExtractData - a free add-in for Word

Word Add-In from DocTools

DocTools ExtractData is a Word add-in I provide for free. It lets you extract acronyms, bookmarks, tracked changes and comments.

The add-in works with Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016 on PC.

The add-in lets you easily extract the following types of data from the active document to a new document:

  • acronyms
  • bookmarks
  • tracked changes
  • comments

The extracted data, incl. additional metadata, will be listed in a table for easy overview.

DocTools ExtractData adds a set of tools to a custom tab, DocTools, in the Ribbon. The tools can be accessed from the group Extract Data in the DocTools tab. The DocTools tab may also contain tools from other add-ins provided by DocTools.

The result of extracting acronyms, tracked changes and comments are slightly improved versions of the results you get by using the free macros available on this website. The functionality for extracting bookmarks is available in the add-in only.

How to get the DocTools ExtractData add-in for free

Click the button below to learn more about DocTools ExtractData. You can download the add-in for free.

Add-in for creating list of acronyms and abbreviations, incl. definitions

The functionality for extracting acronyms included in the DocTools ExtractData add-in finds and extracts acronyms consisting of 3 or more letters. It does not extract any definitions. If you are working with large documents with many abbreviations and acronyms you should have a look at the Acronyms Master add-in. I was actually working on an advanced add-in for extracting acronyms including their definitions when I found Acronyms Master developed by Alexander Becker. After having tested Acronyms Master I decided to refer to that add-in instead - it is easy to use, affordable and includes all the functionality you need.

You can try out Acronyms Master for free.

Acronyms Master

Macro solution

Read below if you want to use the macro instead of the add-in.

About the comments document that is created

The document with the extracted comments will include a header with the following information:

  • Full name of the document from which the acronyms were extracted
  • Name of the document creator
  • Creation date

The acronyms will be filled into a 3-column table. For each acronym, the table will show:

  • Column 1: The acronym
  • Column 2: Room for inserting the definition/full name
  • Column 3: Page number of first occurrence of the acronym

See the illustration below.

Example of acronyms extracted to a new document

Note that you may need to change the table layout. Among other factors, the result will depend on your default table settings.

How to get the macro

Click the link below to open a window with the macro code;

Related information

See About VBA Macros and Code Snippets and How to Install a Macro for misc. information that may help you in your work with macros and for information about how to install macros.

For a macro that can extract tracked changes from the active document, see Extract Tracked Changes to New Document.

For a macro that can extract all comments from the active document, see Extract Comments to New Document.