How to use a custom document property to repeat content in Microsoft Word – TechRepublic | Hot Mobile Press

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Many Microsoft Word documents repeat the same information throughout the document. For example, a contract can refer to the contracting parties multiple times. A review can refer to the staff member or student more than once. Word provides a few ways to repeat content in a document, but one method you may not be familiar with is through Word document properties. In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to use document properties to repeat content in a document. It’s easy and only requires a little setup.

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I’m using Microsoft 365 on a Windows 10 64-bit system, but you can use earlier versions. You can’t enter or update field properties in Word Online; However, Word Online displays the results of existing properties in a document. I use Word because that’s where you’ll use these properties most, but this feature is available in other Office applications.

What are document properties in Word?

Metadata about the file is stored in the properties of Word documents. Metadata is data about data. It describes data and gives it context. For example, metadata can be who created the document and when, who last modified the document, and so on. Word provides metadata about document properties.

Word supports four types of document properties:

default properties

These apply to every document. They are related to author, title, subject and some others. You can change these properties.

Automatically updated properties

These file system properties, such as B. the file size, the date of creation and last modification, the number of words in the document and so on. These property settings can change as the document changes, but you cannot change them.

Custom Properties

These allow the author to assign text or numeric values ​​to a custom property. There are a number of predefined names that you can define or create your own. You can update these properties.

Document library properties

These are available when a document belongs to a document library on a website or public folder.

Now that you know what document properties are, let’s learn how to access them in a Word document.

How to access document properties in Word

Word document properties can be viewed, modified, and created in the Backstage area. Click the File tab and select Information in the left pane. Look for a list of default properties on the right, as shown in Figure A.

Figure A

Word lists several properties in the Backstage area.

To access these properties, click the Properties dropdown menu and select Advanced Properties. The resulting dialog shown in Figure B provides access to all document properties. Word divides the properties into five tabs. If you like, click each to see what’s available on each tab, but we want the Custom tab.

Figure B

Use this dialog box to access document properties.

How to use a document property in Word

Now let’s say you want to put the date and time the document was created in the body of your document. You might guess, but using a document property is more precise. To use the document property, do the following:

  1. Position the cursor where you want to enter the date and time.
  2. Click the Insert tab.
  3. From the Quick Parts drop-down menu, in the Text group, select Document Properties at the bottom of the list.
  4. From the resulting submenu, choose Author (Figure C).

Figure C

Select a document property.

Figure D

Word inserts the author property and displays the author.

As you can see in it Figure D, Word inserts the document property as a content control. If you want to repeat the document property elsewhere in the document, retype or copy it. When copying, be sure to click the control first and don’t just copy the content. Then paste the copy where you want it. If you update the first control as shown in Figure EWord updates the copy.

Figure E

Update the first control and Word will update the second.

Now let’s create a custom document property and use it to repeat information.

How to create a custom document property in Word

Custom document properties allow you to define a property for a document and use it in the same way.

To create a custom document property, do the following:

  1. Click the File tab and select Information in the left pane.
  2. Select “Extended Properties” from the “Properties” drop-down list.
  3. Click the Custom tab.
  4. Enter the name, specify the data type and enter the value: Member, Text, Doc Holiday (Figure F). This will add the new custom property to the list below (Figure G).
  5. Click OK and return to the document.

Figure F

Enter the values ​​for the custom document property.

Figure G

Add the custom property.

Now it’s time to use the document property to repeat the Doc Holiday value in a document:

  1. Position the cursor where you want to type the name Doc Holiday.
  2. Click the Quick Parts dropdown menu, but this time select Field. Custom document properties are not in the submenu.
  3. Select DocProperty in the field name control.
  4. Select Member, the name of the custom document property, in the Field Properties list (Figure H).
  5. click OK.

Figure H

Locate the custom document property.

This time Word enters a field code, not a content control. Don’t worry, you can paste the field wherever needed or copy it in the same way as we did earlier with the content control as shown in Figure I.

Figure I

Copy the control to repeat the value elsewhere in the document.

If you need to change the value of the custom document property, access it from the backstage and change the value setting. You must update the fields to see the change. To do this, press Ctrl + A to select everything in the document, and then press F9. For better or worse, this will update all fields in the document, not just the “Member” custom field. If you want to update them individually, right-click them and choose Update Field.

There are many ways to repeat content in a Word document. Creating a custom document property is one of the easiest, but not very well known. If you use it in a shared document, be sure to let collaborators know how to use it properly. Otherwise someone could manually update the value or remove the content control or field.

If you want to learn two more ways to repeat values ​​in a Word document, see Office Questions and Answers: Two Easy Ways to Repeat Text in a Word Document.

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