Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Automatically Updating Fields and Links.

Automatically Updating Fields and Links

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 12, 2022)

Stephanie wondered if there is a way in Word to force the updating of all fields and links in a document when either opening or saving (closing) the file. She knows that she can force updates prior to printing, but she was looking, specifically, for the open or close method of updating.

You can automatically update both fields and links when you print a document, but Word treats the two items differently when you are opening a file. Word provides a way to always update your links when opening a document. You can do this by following these steps:

  1. Display the Word Options dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Word Options. In Word 2010 or a later version display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. Click on Advanced at the left side of the dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The General area of the Word Options dialog box.

  4. In the General area (scroll down a bit to see it), make sure the Update Automatic Links at Open check box is selected.
  5. Click on OK.

That setting should make sure that all your links are always up to date. If you want to update the fields when the document is opened, you'll need to use a macro to accomplish the task. Specifically, you'll need to use either an AutoOpen or AutoClose macro, depending on whether you want to update the fields when the document opens or closes. The following is an example of an AutoOpen macro you can use.

Sub AutoOpen()
    With Options
        .UpdateFieldsAtPrint = True
        .UpdateLinksAtPrint = True
    End With
    ActiveDocument.Fields.Update
End Sub

Note that the macro makes sure that the options are set to force updating the fields and links when printing occurs, then it updates all the members of the Fields collection in the document. If you, instead, wanted to update the fields at closing, you could use this macro:

Sub AutoClose()
    ActiveDocument.Fields.Update
End Sub

This macro is much shorter because there is no need to set the update-on-print options when you are exiting the document.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the WordTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (978) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Automatically Updating Fields and Links.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Using Revision Tracking

Want to keep track of the changes other people make to your workbook or even your own changes? Excel makes gathering this ...

Discover More

Controlling the Plotting of Empty Cells

When creating a chart from information that contains empty cells, you can direct Excel how it should proceed. This tip ...

Discover More

Changing How Changes are Noted in Word

Do you want to modify how Word marks changes in your document? It's easy to do, if you know where to look.

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Understanding Sections

Sections are handy if you want to subdivide a document so you can apply different document formatting to those ...

Discover More

Ribbon Acting Strangely

The ribbon is the place where Word stores all the tools you need to work with your documents. What happens when the ...

Discover More

Jumping to a Relative Line Number

As you navigate through a document, you may have a need to move forward or backward a specific number of lines. This is ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 9 + 4?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Videos
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.