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 July 13, 2013)

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

Removing Space Before Paragraphs

Want to quickly format a paragraph to remove any extra space before it? Word includes a tool that can make this change a ...

Discover More

Turning Off Capital Corrections

If you type two capital letters at the beginning of a word, Word assumes that you made a typing error and will attempt to ...

Discover More

Inserting the Subject in Your Document

One of the properties you can specify for a document is a subject. You can then use a field code to insert this subject, ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More WordTips (menu)

Understanding Click and Type

The Click and Type feature of Word allows you to use the mouse to click somewhere on a blank page, and then begin typing. ...

Discover More

Creating Compound Characters

Word provides access to a wide variety of characters either from the keyboard or from the Symbol dialog box. Up and above ...

Discover More

Inserting a Non-Breaking Hyphen

Non-breaking hyphens can come in helpful for some types of writing. They force the words (or characters) on both sides of ...

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}] 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 less than 9?

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.

Newest Tips
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.