Automatically Update Text in Word Documents

Using linked text in multiple Word files saves time

If you frequently insert the same block of text in many documents and this text is occasionally updated, you may want to consider inserting the text as a link. When you insert the text as a link, any edits you make to the linked text automatically appear in every document that contains the link. This saves you from having to search for the text when it comes time to print your documents, and you are confident the documents contain the latest, most accurate information.

Inserting a Text Link in Word

To insert text as a link in Microsoft Word documents, follow these steps:

  1. Create a Microsoft Word document and enter the text you are going to link to in other documents. Format it exactly as you want it to appear in all the documents.
  2. Save the file to generate the link.
  3. Highlight the text to be linked by dragging over it with your cursor
  4. Choose Copy from the Edit menu or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+C on a PC or Command+C on a Mac to copy the selected text to the clipboard.
  5. Open a document where you want to insert the text.
  6. Place the cursor where you want the text to appear in the document.
  7. From the Edit menu, select Paste Special.
  8. From the Paste Special dialog box, select Paste Link.
  9. You have several options after you click Paste Link, but selecting Formatted Text (RTF) pastes the linked text exactly as it appears in the original document.
  10. Repeat this process for each of the documents you want to link to the original text document.

    Any changes you make to the text in the original document appears in all documents where the text is linked.

    Warning: If you move the file containing the text, you have to re-insert an updated link to the text in all the linked documents, so it is best to consider this before you begin.

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    Your Citation
    Marshall, James. "Automatically Update Text in Word Documents." ThoughtCo, Aug. 18, 2017, Marshall, James. (2017, August 18). Automatically Update Text in Word Documents. Retrieved from Marshall, James. "Automatically Update Text in Word Documents." ThoughtCo. (accessed January 23, 2018).