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: Marking Multiple Documents.

Marking Multiple Documents

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 21, 2016)

Glenn was searching for a way to "place a mark" on a document to indicate that it had been archived. Further, there were many such documents to mark, so a way to load them, add the mark, and save them again was desirable.

There are many different ways that such a task can be achieved. The differences are determined by exactly how the "mark" is placed in a document. Obviously, the word "Archive" (or some such terminology) could be added to a document, but that would affect the actual appearance of the document itself, which is often undesirable.

There is a solution that doesn't involve any visible marks to the document—use document properties. You can set a custom document property that would indicate whether the document has been archived or not. You could later search for the property to determine which files meet your criteria.

The following macro will load all the documents in a directory (and possibly any subdirectories), and either create or set a custom document property indicating that the document has been archived. In this case, the custom property is named Archive, and it is set to a True (Yes) condition.

Public Sub SetArchive()
    Dim bExists As Boolean

    With Application.FileSearch
        .LookIn = "C:\"             ' where to search
        .SearchSubFolders = True    ' search the subfolders
        .FileName = "*.doc"         ' file pattern to match

        ' if more than one match, execute the following code
        If .Execute() > 0 Then
            For i = 1 To .FoundFiles.Count
                ' Open the file
                Documents.Open FileName:=.FoundFiles(i)

                ' Begin document changes

                ' See if the doc variable exists
                bExists = False
                For Each varItem In ActiveDocument.CustomDocumentProperties
                    If varItem.Name = "Archive" Then
                        bExists = True
                        Exit For
                    End If
                Next varItem

                If Not bExists Then
                    ' Add and set document property
                    ActiveDocument.CustomDocumentProperties.Add _
                      Name:="Archive", LinkToContent:=False, _
                      Type:=msoPropertyTypeBoolean, Value:=True
                Else
                    'Already exists, so just set it
                    ActiveDocument.CustomDocumentProperties("Archive") = True
                End If

                ' End document changes

                ' Force document to be saved
                ActiveDocument.Saved = False
                ' Save and close the current document
                ActiveDocument.Close wdSaveChanges
            Next i
        Else
            ' Could not find any DOC files
            MsgBox "No files found."
        End If
    End With
End Sub

To use the macro, just change the directory specification in the fifth line of the macro (starts with .LookIn). Once it is run, the Archive property is created and set in each of the documents. You can view the results by loading one of the files, choosing File | Properties | Custom. The Archive property should be visible in the dialog box.

There is one interesting thing about this macro. Notice that you must "force" the document to be saved by setting the Saved property for the document to False. If you don't do this, then your custom property isn't saved. Why? Apparently Word doesn't recognize a change to a custom property—including adding one—as a reason to save a document. Thus, unless you force the Saved property to False, Word doesn't recognize that any changes have occurred in the document.

If you prefer to not use the custom property approach to marking your archive, you can make some changes to this macro to achieve the desired results. All you need to do is replace the code between the "Begin document changes" and "End document changes" comments with what you want done to the document. For instance, if you want a watermark placed in the document, then simply replace the noted code with code that creates and places the watermark.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1647) 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: Marking Multiple Documents.

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. ...

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