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”.

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.


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”


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


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.


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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