Certain fields are not auto-populated in Word 2010 document

Nearly every version of Microsoft Word offers a cool feature of inserting fields into various parts of your document. These fields are auto-populated on various occasions and contains always up-to-date value with no need for you to manually update or write that particular value.

Most likely you’ve already seen that in action. Naming page numer or total pages count as first two out of a long row of examples.

You can have virtually every value in such field. The same functionality that counts pages of your document automatically can insert (and always refresh automatically) some document property, like author name, document title etc. You don’t need to write your title manually in many places. You just add a field that corresponds to this particular document property, everywhere you need, and that’s it. Anytime you hit Ctrl+A to select entire document and then F9 to manually refresh all fields (or anytime Word does this refresh for you), you always get most up-to-date value taken from your doc’s properties.

Problems starts when you try to insert some specific field, like Company Address or Company E-mail.

There’s either some bug or some weird logic in Microsoft Word 2010 which causes that you must insert this field in a very specific way. Otherwise you get a field which value is not being auto-updated.

The quickest way of inserting document’s property-related field is to use Insert > Quick Parts > Document Property and select desired field from context menu. Try this for example for Company Address.

Using Quick Parts menu from Insert tab to quickly add auto-populated field

Most likely nothing will happen. I.e. field will be added, but it won’t be populated with any real value.

You have to first define a value for that (or any other) field in document’s properties.

Go to File > Info > Properties > Advanced Properties and make use of either General or Custom tab. There’s a Company field in General tab, but as far as I know, it doesn’t corelate to any available field in Word. You should rather add a custom Company Address field in Custom tab and fill it with any value, you wish.

Defining some custom document’s property

This still won’t solve your problem. Trying to add this field to a document will result in the same — a field with no value that is not auto-populated. This is due to a weird bug or functionality mentioned in the introduction to this article.

Instead, try to:

  • open up Insert > Quick Parts > Field window,
  • select Document Information as Category,
  • select DocProperty in Field names field,
  • select Company E-mails (or Company Address or anything) in Property list and
  • hit OK.
Adding auto-populated field using Field dialog box

And here is the effect of above operation:

Auto-populated field inserted

Try to experiment with changing value of your custom field and seeing, if Word is refreshing corresponding field automatically. If not, use the Ctrl+A and F9 magic from article introduction to do manual refresh.

Of course, you can have:

  • auto-populated field in many parts of your document, i.e. also in header and footer,
  • the same field (i.e. corresponding to the same document property) added many times to the same document.

Only your imagination is a border-line here.

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