Custom Fields in MS Word

Often in a document you need to include text that is repeated throughout a document and just _know_ someone will want to change them later. Or perhaps you have a document template and want to use custom fields that the template user can fill in.
Enter custom fields.
Inserting these fields is a little non-obvious as they are buried under the title “quick parts”.
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This brings up a dialog – but we aren’t quite there yet ! You need to select “DocProperty” in the left hand list after which the field properties appear containing the names of the fields. As can be seen, a number of fields have already been defined.

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Having finally managed to find these fields wouldn’t it be fantastic if there was an [Add] button so you could add your own field for your own text. But if Micro$oft did that life would be too easy and we can’t have that ! Indeed, even the mighty Google couldn’t find an answer !

Thats because creation is buried in a completely different part of the program. Select the main menu button (top-left of application), select “Prepare” and select “Properties”

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When you do this, an additional panel appears just below the menu bar but above the actual document page.

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The more observant among you may recognize some of these fields – such as “Author” – from the insert-field dialog.So we are on the right track ! Click on the “Document Properties” drop-down and select “Advanced Properties” and another tabbed dialog appears.

Honest, we are getting close now ! Select the “Custom” tag and voilà ! Enter a name for your field and a value and press the [Add] button.

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The field will now appear in the insert-field dialog. (Note that as well as text, you can instead specify a number, date or even Yes/No).

It is apparently possible to have your custom field appear on the document properties panel. For example, every organized organization will number their documents so wouldn’t it make sense to have a “Document number” field [hint-hint Micro$oft - please add one!].Well, get out your cheque book (heh, showing me age!) and pay Micro$oft for InfoPath and apparently you can design your document information panel.

 

 

One comment

  1. Ayesha says:

    I wanted to specify the values for already created fields in a Word template and this page was a great help. Otherwise Word was driving me crazy. Thanks for publishing this information, or I would never have been able to locate the Custom tab.

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