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Automatically Updating Fields and Links

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Automatically Updating Fields and Links.

Stephanie wondered if there is a way in Word to force the updating of all fields and links in a document when either opening or saving (closing) the file. She knows that she can force updates prior to printing, but she was looking, specifically, for the open or close method of updating.

You can automatically update both fields and links when you print a document, but Word treats the two items differently when you are opening a file. Word provides a way to always update your links when opening a document. You can do this by following these steps:

  1. Choose Options from the Tools tab. Word displays the Options dialog box.
  2. Make sure the General tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The General tab of the Options dialog box.

  4. Click the Update Automatic Links at Open check box.
  5. Click on OK.

That setting should make sure that all your links are always up to date. If you want to update the fields when the document is opened, you'll need to use a macro to accomplish the task. Specifically, you'll need to use either an AutoOpen or AutoClose macro, depending on whether you want to update the fields when the document opens or closes. The following is an example of an AutoOpen macro you can use.

Sub AutoOpen()
    With Options
        .UpdateFieldsAtPrint = True
        .UpdateLinksAtPrint = True
    End With
End Sub

Note that the macro makes sure that the options are set to force updating the fields and links when printing occurs, then it updates all the members of the Fields collection in the document. If you, instead, wanted to update the fields at closing, you could use this macro:

Sub AutoClose()
End Sub

This macro is much shorter because there is no need to set the update-on-print options when you are exiting the document.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (422) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Automatically Updating Fields and Links.

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Comments for this tip:

Colog    20 Apr 2016, 20:10
Hello everyone!

This macro worked fine for me, but when I use it in a .dotm file and open it, it will not work when the .docx file is created.

How can I fix this? I wished to open my template and automatically word would ask for the fields when it creates the .docx file. Is this possible?

Thank you so much.
Martin Martinez    11 Mar 2016, 06:38
the autoopen macro does not seem to update the Filename field link in the footer. In the main document it works. Anyone discovered this?
Neil    06 Apr 2015, 11:14
I want to stop Word from updating fields when I print but my general options tab is different from the one shown in you "automatically updating fields" blog (it's much more limited).
ashok    14 Feb 2015, 23:59
Javed Khan    28 Nov 2014, 12:01
The information was good.

The only problem I face is, I have placed the linked image in TextBox. The images inside textbox is not updated.

Is there any way for this.
Mikael Lind    03 Apr 2014, 06:38
I apologize for my earlier post, there isn't any AutoSave(), only Auto macros are AutoExec, AutoNew, AutoOpen, AutoClose & AutoExit...

So, I created a macro that updates fields and then save the doc. Then assigned Hot-key 'Ctrl-S' to it (overriding hot-key for normal 'Save'). Also added in the macro, updating TOC entirely (not only pages).

Sub UpdateAndSave()
    With ThisDocument
        If .TablesOfContents.Count = 1 Then _
    End With
End Sub

if you want to save the macro in Normal.dot, exchange 'ThisDocument' to 'ActiveDocument'
Mikael Lind    27 Mar 2014, 08:45
To Lucy & Teresa:

Use an AutoSave macro

Sub AutoSave()
End Sub

If you want the macro stay with the document, be sure put the macro within 'ThisDocument'
Lucy    21 May 2013, 10:09
How can I automatically updated fields if a document is saved during editing. I have a macro to update fields when a document is first opened, but I want to update the fields when changes are made and saved during editing; before it is closed and/or reopened.
Tom    29 Dec 2012, 10:16
I just want to be able to turn my yearly calendar from 2012 to 2013 and not have to copy/paste every item.
(it is a read the Bible in a year guide)
Can it be done in Word 2000. I have had this trouble for about 6 years now. Any help would be much appreciated.
Teresa    04 Oct 2012, 09:54
How can I automatically updated fields if a document is saved during editing. I have a macro to update fields when a document is first opened, but I want to update the fields when changes are made and saved during editing; before it is closed and/or reopened.
awyatt    06 Dec 2011, 14:47

There is a link at the end of this tip to a version for Word 2007 and Word 2010. Click it and you'll have your answer.
John McMullen    06 Dec 2011, 14:01
I know that the text is written for Word 2003 and before--does the same text work for versions of Word afterward (that is, Word 2007 and later)?

Because I have a client with a problem that might be solved by including, but they want the included files updated on open.

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