I want to use one text block on several places in my Word document. When I change the text block, then it must be changed on the other places too. Is this possible?

I've seen it in a Word document but I didn't know how it was accomplished. I think it was done via Content Control (via Developer tab), I tried but it never worked.


Since it sounds like you're going to be using the source text and the duplicate text all within the document, REF fields and bookmarks will do what you want. You also have the option of adding as many source text blocks as you want, by using different 'Bookmarks' as described below.

  1. Place the desired text block at the first spot you want it in the document.
  2. Highlight the entire block of text, click over to the 'Insert' tab of the ribbon, and click 'Bookmark'
  3. Type an easy-to-remember name for the bookmark in the 'Bookmark name' field (letters, numbers and underscores only; must start with a letter) and click 'Add'

Word snip

  1. Move the cursor to a location where you want the text repeated and press Ctrl+F9 to insert an empty field code. Type REF bookmarkName \* MERGEFORMAT into the field. If you want the formatting of the duplicated text blocks to exactly match that of the source text, leave out the \* MERGEFORMAT part.

Word snip

  1. Press F9 to refresh the field and display the copied text.

Word snip

  1. Repeat (4) and (5) for each place the text needs to be duplicated.
  2. To change the text that's displayed, just edit the initial text as desired, select the entire document with Ctrl+A, and refresh the fields with F9.

I recommend changing your view settings to always show bookmark markers and to always highlight fields: in the Ribbon, click 'File' then 'Options', and set the settings as below:

Word snip

Editing the bookmark text can be a little tricky, because if you delete any characters from the end of the bookmarked text, the range of text enclosed by the bookmark will shrink. If need be, make any changes to the desired text a few characters away from the edge of the bookmark boundary, and then delete the 'edge' characters. Or, if it simply refuses to behave, just edit the text how you want it, ignoring the bookmark boundary, and then when you're satisfied with it just repeat steps (2) and (3) above, entering the same bookmark name as you did before. The REF field codes should still work fine.

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    Thank you, this is the easiest way in my opinion. But it is necessary to remove the spaces before and after the curly braces, otherwise it doesn't work. {REF RepeatedText \* MERGEFORMAT}. And also: is there a button I can use for the shortcut CTRL + F9? – Ozkan Feb 24 '15 at 9:32
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    Found it: image – Ozkan Feb 24 '15 at 9:46
  • Curious, I have never found it necessary to remove those spaces. What I posted worked just fine on my version of Word (Windows, Office 2010). Looks like you're using Word 2013, though; perhaps it treats fields differently? Regardless, glad it's working for you! – hBy2Py Feb 24 '15 at 18:38

To insert a dynamic piece of text to a word document (multiple times, where required), you should use Custom Properties.

[Written for Word 2013, but relevant in 2010]
To do this, first open the document in question. Within the File menu, click the Info tab, select the Properties dropdown, and open Advanced Properties.

In the window that opens (see image, below), switch to the Custom tab, and enter appropriate values for Name and Value (Type should obviously be Text). Click Add.

Document1 Properties (Example of Advanced Properties)

You can then add this property to the document in one of a few ways: the easiest (arguably) is to go to the Insert ribbon, and select QuickParts (as in @Nichlas H.'s answer), and open the Field screen.

Word - Field window

After navigating to the DocProperty field name (see above), you can select any property to insert into the document. This adds that property to the document, where it can be updated in a variety of ways.

enter image description here

Alternatively, you can hit Ctrl+F9 to insert an empty Field, into which you can type DOCPROPERTY Test (or any other field code - see above).

You can update these fields by highlighting them (or everything, with Ctrl+A) and hitting F9, or right-clicking any field and selecting Update Field.


It is a bit of a hack, and you can only have one block of text used this way.

  1. Add the text you want to the comment field in your document properties. Add comment to the document

  2. Insert the document property "comment" in all the places where you want the block. Insert the document property "comment" in all the places where you want the block.

  3. Tada! Final result

  • Thank you for replying. But there is a way without this work-around. I've seen it in a Word document but I didn't know how it was accomplished. I think it was done via Content Control (via Developer tab), I tried but it never worked. And btw I need it multiple times – Ozkan Jan 6 '15 at 13:43
  • The suggestion by Nicholas H. is, in fact, using a content control. But I think the length of the text will be limited if you use this particular one. If you only need a few of these things you can use and rename the "Cover Page" controls (Company fax etc.). Otherwise, or if you need rich text, you have to create a custom XML part to hold the data corresponding to the control, then you can use the developer tab to associate each control with the XML. Or you may be able to use the utility at gregmaxey.mvps.org/word_tip_pages/content_control_tools.html – user181946 Jan 10 '15 at 8:10

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