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: Making Common Information Accessible.

Making Common Information Accessible

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 16, 2013)

You may have a lot of common information that needs to appear in many different documents. For instance, you may need your address, phone number, or similar information to appear in lots of different documents. The problem is that addresses, phone numbers, and other information can frequently change. Thus, if you want to change this common information in a bunch of files, you must resort to making tedious changes, or you must use a macro or third-party solution.

One way to potentially save time when including common information in a file is to store the common items in their own file and bookmark them. Then, in the main document files you can use the INCLUDETEXT field to refer to the bookmarked item. The field, when it is updated, automatically grabs the current values of the bookmarked items and inserts them in the document. This approach allows you to update the address, phone number, or what-have-you in the single file, and have the change propagate through your other documents.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (3791) 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: Making Common Information Accessible.

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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