Microsoft Word Hack: Auto Populating Repeated Words in a Document

Using document properties in Microsoft Word will allow you to set fields throughout the document that when you fill in one, they all will be filled in with the same word(s). Here is what you do:

Step 1 
If you haven’t already, turn on the Developer Tab. You can learn how to do that HERE.

Step 2 
Open a form pleading in Microsoft Word (or a pleading you would like to convert into a form). I’ve used this on petitions for the typical cases I take and discovery documents. Anything I can do to reduce the time spent on discovery is worth it.

Step 3
Choose a word that you need to be able to update all at once throughout the document. Ideally, this will be a word that needs to be uniform and the same throughout the document. It could be a party name, client name, gendered pronouns, or any word that needs to be correctly repeated. 

Step 4
Go to the Insert tab and click on Quick Parts (normally on the right half of the tab).

Step 5
Scroll down to Document Properties and select one of the options. It doesn’t matter which one, just pick something that makes sense to you for the word you want to repeat through the document. 

NOTE: This is why I am calling this process a “hack.” While you can change the title of the field in the next step, the actual word that shows up in the bracketed field will remain the same.

Step 6
Click on the Document Property you now have in your document and then go to the Developer Tab and click on Properties. In the box that pops up, type the title you want for the field in the title bar. This will not change the document property you selected from the list but when you click on the field, the title will pop up letting you know what the field is supposed to be. What I have done here is I write “Petitioner or Respondent” or “he or she.” You will need to do a separate field if some portions of the document need the word in all caps. For example, I added a separate field saying “PETITIONER OR RESPONDENT IN CAPS” so I don’t forget. 

Step 7
Once you have the document property field created, you can select and copy it (control+c). Then, everywhere you want to have that word appear, paste the field there (control+v). 

NOTE: You can even paste the field into the footer.

There is a good video explanation of this for Word 2007 HERE. The steps are the same even if your Word version is newer. 

I hope this helps. The document might look a little weird by having [abstract] or [subject] through it but if you do this right the first time, you will never have to worry about using the wrong word in the wrong place again.

Pro Tip: Once you have the form how you want, save it as a “read only” file to avoid accidentally saving over it. You can learn how to do that HERE.