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: Copying Custom Properties.

Copying Custom Properties

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 25, 2018)

7

Custom document properties are a great way to store unique information that is associated with a document. For instance, you may have a company-assigned document number that needs to be stored with a document. A custom property fits the bill quite nicely for this purpose.

As you add custom properties to a document, you may start wondering if there is an easy way to copy them from one document to another. Unfortunately, there is no way to do this. (In my estimation, this capability would make a fine addition to the Organizer.) You can, however, create a macro that will do the copying for you. The following macro will do just that:

Sub CopyDocProps()
    Dim dp() As DocumentProperty
    Dim CustomPropCount As Integer
    Dim i As Integer
    Dim intResponse As Integer

    If Windows.Count > 2 Then
        MsgBox "There are more than two windows. Please " & _
          "close the others and re-run the macro.", , _
          "Too many windows"
        Exit Sub
    End If

    On Error GoTo Err_Handler

    intResponse = MsgBox("Are you currently in the source document?", _
      vbYesNoCancel, "Copy Custom Properties")

    If intResponse = vbNo Then Application.Run MacroName:="NextWindow"

    CustomPropCount = ActiveDocument.CustomDocumentProperties.Count
    ReDim dp(1 To CustomPropCount)

    For i = 1 To CustomPropCount
        Set dp(i) = ActiveDocument.CustomDocumentProperties(i)
    Next i

    Application.Run MacroName:="NextWindow"

    For i = 1 To CustomPropCount
        If dp(i).LinkToContent = True Then
            ActiveDocument.CustomDocumentProperties.Add _
              Name:=dp(i).Name, _
              LinkToContent:=True, _
              Value:=dp(i).Value, _
              Type:=dp(i).Type, _
              LinkSource:=dp(i).LinkSource
        Else
            ActiveDocument.CustomDocumentProperties.Add _
              Name:=dp(i).Name, _
              LinkToContent:=False, _
              Value:=dp(i).Value, _
              Type:=dp(i).Type
        End If
    Next i

    MsgBox "The properties have been copied."
    Exit Sub

Err_Handler:
    ' if Word raises an error, then allow the user
    ' to update the custom document property
    
    intResponse = MsgBox("The custom document property (" & _
      dp(i).Name & ") already exists." & vbCrLf & vbCrLf & _
      "Do you want to update the value?", vbYesNoCancel, _
      "Copy Custom Properties")

    Select Case Response
        Case vbCancel
            End
        Case vbYes
            ActiveDocument.CustomDocumentProperties(dp(i).Name).Value _
              = dp(i).Value
            Resume Next
        Case vbNo
            Resume Next
    End Select
End Sub

This code is an example of how to copy custom properties, but it is not bulletproof. For instance, it does not check to see if there are actually any custom properties in the source document; it just assumes that there are. Such coding could be easily added, however.

In order to use the macro, make sure that you have only the source and target documents open, and you should only have one window open per document. When the macro is finished, you will need to save the target document.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the WordTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1340) 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: Copying Custom Properties.

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

Beginning a Mail Merge

Performing a mail merge can be intimidating to some people. It needn't be; Word provides a handy step-by-step wizard that ...

Discover More

Formatting All Headings At Once

If you need to apply a common formatting change to all the headings in your document, a quick way to do it is to use the ...

Discover More

Adding Borders to Cell Contents

Word allows you to quickly add borders to cells in a table, but you may not know that you can also add borders to the ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (menu)

Determining If the End of a Text File Has Been Reached

When writing a macro that processes a text file, you may need to know when the end of the file has been reached. This is ...

Discover More

Delays when Double-Clicking a Document Icon

Do you notice delays when you double-click a document icon, perhaps on your desktop? If you are confused by such delays ...

Discover More

Working with Other People's Files

When you get files from other people, you may want a quick way to apply your formatting to their text. Provided that the ...

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 four more than 2?

2018-06-25 22:27:25

John Humphrey

OMG, this is BRILLIANT!!!! I can't believe how much time this is gonna save. I know the thread is old, but the utility is timeless!!! Thank you so much!


2016-10-14 17:49:54

Dino Philopoulos

Beautiful, worked like a charm and saved me lots of time.


2016-09-23 07:45:00

Eric Pigal

Congratulations for those hints/tips!

This is the 2nd time I leverage some source code from you.
I'm quite impressed with simplicity, quality and clarity.

Many thanks.


2016-08-12 05:12:17

Fred Carruthers

What a great little macro. For others I managed fixed the wee bug that stops the script if an entry already exists. Change the line:

'Select Case Response' to
'Select Case intResponse'

It now works a treat saving me a stack of time.


2016-05-24 08:54:57

Thomas

Thanks for the script. There is just one problem that the script stops if there is an entry already available. So better clear all custom values in the target, before starting the script.

Thanks a lot!


2015-04-28 13:58:19

Paul B

Thanks Allen. This indeed should be in the MS Word functionality. Without this, there is no 100% transportability.
This worked for me as well. It's now in my Normal.dot library.


2014-11-03 20:00:48

Mike Thompson

Many thanks for this :-) Exactly what I needed, and I can confirm this works for Word 2013.


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.