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Creating Custom Document Properties

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: Creating Custom Document Properties.

Besides your actual document, Word also maintains quite a bit of statistical and overview information about your document. You can view a portion of this information by choosing the Properties option from the File menu. Word then displays the Properties dialog box for your document, and you can use the different tabs to view the information maintained.

In addition to the standard properties maintained by Word, you can create your own custom document properties. These can then be used within your document (using the DOCPROPERTY field) or within macros. To create a custom document property, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Properties from the File menu. Word displays the Properties dialog box for your document.
  2. Make sure the Custom tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Custom tab of the Properties dialog box.

  4. In the Name box, type the name you want used for your new document property.
  5. Using the Type drop-down list, specify the type that best describes what you will store in this document property.
  6. In the Value box, type the value you want assigned to the property.
  7. Click on the Add button. Your new property appears at the bottom of the dialog box, in the Properties list.
  8. Click on OK or Cancel to dismiss the Properties dialog box.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (661) 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: Creating Custom Document Properties.

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Comments for this tip:

Chris    20 Jul 2016, 16:35
To insert the custom property, from the Insert tab, in the text section click on the insert Quick Parts drop down, field, Category: DocProperty, Property: (the name of your custom property), and then click OK. If this is the first time you are using the field it should display the value you defined. If you modify the value, you have to click on File, Print/Print Preview and then click the back arrow. This will update the field value.
Nick    23 Jun 2016, 16:20
I have the same issue as Cas and Kristina. I successfully add the property as stated, but no such property is available within the document. I've seen many forums with this problem, but no one even replies to this issue... Any advise? Anybody?
Gary Cole    08 Jun 2016, 12:54
What is the "Link to content" box for that shows in the Custom tab?
Cas    31 May 2016, 00:30
I follow the instructions to create custom properties in Word and Excel 2016 but when clicking OK , nothing happens.
No property gets added at all .
Am I missing a setting somewhere ?
Ruth    28 May 2015, 17:19
It would be nice to have a discussion of how the "Link to content" button is used.
Safety ManNY    30 Mar 2015, 17:45
@ Soul Maz,

Yes, if you create a new document property or even reuse one of the built-in ones, you can do what you are seeking. I've done it myself the same way.
Kristina    18 Feb 2015, 02:58
How do i get the Document property into my word document?

I have added the document property in the Properties dialog, but I do not seem to be able to add the { DOCPROPERTY “Fieldname” } in the document itself. When typing it word does not recognize as field markers. Ctrl+F9 brings up the control panel, Fn+F9 does not do a thing (on a table of contents it updates the field) and Alt+F9 also brings up the control panel. I am running word 2013.

Thanks for advise.
soul maz    02 Feb 2015, 15:23
I want a chance to be able to update my safety document for each project. The whole document is the same for all projects except the title and address and project manager. Am I in a right track by using custom document properties in MS word?
Richard Koch    16 May 2014, 07:43
How can I highlight all occurrances of custom document properties in a Word 2013 document?

I had this feature in Word 2003.
Klick    10 Feb 2014, 21:43
Hi there,
Once you create the document property, how do you create another box, whereby as you edit one box, the other automatically updates.
Peter Johnson    12 Aug 2013, 04:02
Hi John

Value is simply the value you want the property to have. Let me demonstrate with an example.

Suppose you wanted to store an address. You could add a series of properties named ‘Street’, ‘City’, ‘State’, (step 3) all with a type of ‘string’ (step 4). To be useful these need a value - this is what you put in at step 5 e.g. ‘1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW’, ‘Washington,’ ‘D.C.’.

Now you need to use them in your document. Continuing Allen’s numbering.

8. Click where you want to put the address and hit Ctrl+F9. This inserts what looks like a pair of brace brackets (actually they are field markers).
9. Between them type the word DOCPROPERTY followed by the name of your property in quote marks. Your document will then look something like … { DOCPROPERTY “Street” }.
10. Right click anywhere between the brace brackets and click on Update Field

Job done - your document now displays 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW.

John    11 Aug 2013, 19:20
Item 5. - I don't understand what the value is. What value? What does the term mean?

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