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: Using Document Properties to Ensure Consistent References.

Using Document Properties to Ensure Consistent References

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 11, 2019)

1

There are many times when you are putting together a document that you need to make sure that certain references are consistent. For instance, you may need to refer to a particular person's name or a company name, and it is imperative that the references be precise and accurate throughout the document.

There are several ways you can handle this situation using Word. One rather unique way is through the use of document properties. You probably already know that Word maintains a series of properties for your documents. These properties include things such as the size of the document, the last time it was updated, and the like. You can also define custom properties that act like variables for your document. To define a custom property, follow these steps:

  1. Choose the Properties option from the File menu. Word displays the Properties dialog box.
  2. Click on the Custom tab. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Custom tab of the Properties dialog box.

  4. In the Name field, specify the name you want associated with this property. This is the name you will later use to reference the property in your document.
  5. In the Type field, pick the type of property you are creating.
  6. In the Value field, specify the value of the property.
  7. Click on the Add button. The new property appears in the list of properties in the dialog box.
  8. Click OK to close the Properties dialog box.

Now you are ready to use the new document property within your document. You do this in this manner:

  1. Position the cursor at the point where you want your reference to appear.
  2. Insert a field by pressing Ctrl+F9.
  3. Within the field, type DOCPROPERTY [name], where [name] is the name of the document property you previously defined.
  4. Repeat steps 1 through 3 for each occurrence of the value or text.

When you display the field results, Word fetches the contents of your custom document property and displays it in place of the field. If you change the value assigned to the document property and then update the fields in the document, all instances of the reference are updated.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (224) 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: Using Document Properties to Ensure Consistent References.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Preventing Changes to Formatting and Page Size

When you create workbooks for others to use, you might want to make sure that they can't change the formatting and paper ...

Discover More

Inserting a Sound File in Your Worksheet

Some worksheets are better understood through the spoken word or with musical accompaniment. Sound files can be easily ...

Discover More

Using List Box Controls

List boxes can be a great tool for getting input from users of your worksheets. This tip describes what list boxes are ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (menu)

Capitals After Colons

Do you want Word to always capitalize the first letter appearing after a colon? The program won't do it by default, but ...

Discover More

Getting the Proper Type of Ellipses

Type three periods in a row, and the AutoCorrect feature in Word kicks in to exchange that sequence for a special ...

Discover More

Getting Rid of Automatic Page-Break Lines

A little trick to get rid of pagination marks when you have background pagination turned off.

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is seven minus 2?

2015-01-21 15:41:25

VeeeK

Hello,

Would anyone have a suggested taxonomy for tags, subjects, categories for a medium sized business?

Letting people create their own properties is very inconsistent.


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Videos
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.