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Let's say I have a value: \\myServer\dir1\dir2\dir3. I'd like this value to appear in multiple places in an MSWord document. However I only want to write it down once. What's a good way to do this? Fields seem like the answer but I can't get it to work; maybe it's not the answer.

I'd like to be able to do this without any macros; it adds too much complexity. I need something more like Excel -- write a cell value here, reference it there, change the original value and the reference gets updated too.

Edit: ideally I'd have the value updated automatically (fields don't seem to want to do that!).

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1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

In Word 2007 you can use a Quick Part to create reusable content. From the help docs:

Create a reusable content building block

  1. Select the text or graphic that you want to store as a reusable building block.
  2. On the Insert tab, in the Text group, click Quick Parts, and then click Save Selection to Quick Part Gallery. Or press ALT+F3.
  3. Fill out the information in the Create New Building Block dialog box:
    • Name: Type a unique name for the building block.
    • Gallery: Select the gallery that you want the building block to show up in.
    • Category: Select a category, such as General or Built-In, or create a new category.
    • Description: Type a description of the building block.
    • Save in: Select the name of the template from the drop-down list.
    • Options: Select Insert content in its own page to ensure the building block is placed on a separate page. Select Insert in own paragraph for content that should not become part of another paragraph, even if the user's cursor is in the middle of a paragraph. Select Insert content only for all other content.

You can find more detailed help as well in Word 2007 by clicking the Insert Tab > Expanding Quick Parts > F1 for help on Quick Parts.

Edit 1
Apparently Quick Parts are not dynamic which means child parts will not be updated when the parent is updated. Some possible alternatives:

  1. MSDN: Exploring the Dynamic World of Word 2007
  2. Word Custom Properties: How to Improve Productivity

Edit 2 (requested by OP to be added to answer)

I think that for my use the Comments document property works best. I need one value in many places and I need it to update automatically. The advanced doc properties don't update automaticaly (despite all efforts to the contrary). But the basic document properties do.

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It looks like that will save the content into Building Blocks.dotx. Doesn't that mean that anyone who opens the document would also have to have Building Blocks.dotx? Also, I did what you said, then inserted the QuickPart in a different place, then edited the original and the copy didn't change. –  jcollum May 5 '10 at 20:08
    
It appears that Quick Parts are not bound which means child parts will not be updated :( Check my edit for a possible alternative. –  Metro Smurf May 5 '10 at 22:10
    
I think that for my use the Comments document property works best. I need one value in many places and I need it to update automatically. The advanced doc properties don't update automaticaly (despite all efforts to the contrary). But the basic document properties do. I can't edit your answer so please add that. –  jcollum May 5 '10 at 23:32
    
@jcollum - added update as requested :) –  Metro Smurf May 9 '10 at 18:09

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