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: Copying Custom Properties.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 9, 2018)
Custom document properties are a great way to store unique information that is associated with a document. For instance, you may have a company-assigned document number that needs to be stored with a document. A custom property fits the bill quite nicely for this purpose.
As you add custom properties to a document, you may start wondering if there is an easy way to copy them from one document to another. Unfortunately, there is no way to do this. (In my estimation, this capability would make a fine addition to the Organizer.) You can, however, create a macro that will do the copying for you. The following macro will do just that:
Sub CopyDocProps() Dim dp() As DocumentProperty Dim CustomPropCount As Integer Dim i As Integer Dim iResponse As Integer If Windows.Count > 2 Then MsgBox "There are more than two windows. Please " & _ "close the others and re-run the macro.", , _ "Too many windows" Exit Sub End If On Error GoTo Err_Handler iResponse = MsgBox("Are you currently in the source document?", _ vbYesNoCancel, "Copy Custom Properties") If iResponse = vbNo Then Application.Run MacroName:="NextWindow" CustomPropCount = ActiveDocument.CustomDocumentProperties.Count ReDim dp(1 To CustomPropCount) For i = 1 To CustomPropCount Set dp(i) = ActiveDocument.CustomDocumentProperties(i) Next i Application.Run MacroName:="NextWindow" For i = 1 To CustomPropCount If dp(i).LinkToContent = True Then ActiveDocument.CustomDocumentProperties.Add _ Name:=dp(i).Name, _ LinkToContent:=True, _ Value:=dp(i).Value, _ Type:=dp(i).Type, _ LinkSource:=dp(i).LinkSource Else ActiveDocument.CustomDocumentProperties.Add _ Name:=dp(i).Name, _ LinkToContent:=False, _ Value:=dp(i).Value, _ Type:=dp(i).Type End If Next i MsgBox "The properties have been copied." Exit Sub Err_Handler: ' if Word raises an error, then allow the user ' to update the custom document property iResponse = MsgBox("The custom document property (" & _ dp(i).Name & ") already exists." & vbCrLf & vbCrLf & _ "Do you want to update the value?", vbYesNoCancel, _ "Copy Custom Properties") Select Case iResponse Case vbCancel End Case vbYes ActiveDocument.CustomDocumentProperties(dp(i).Name).Value _ = dp(i).Value Resume Next Case vbNo Resume Next End Select End Sub
This code is an example of how to copy custom properties, but it is not bulletproof. For instance, it does not check to see if there are actually any custom properties in the source document; it just assumes that there are. Such coding could be easily added, however.
In order to use the macro, make sure that you have only the source and target documents open, and you should only have one window open per document. When the macro is finished, you will need to save the target document.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11671) 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: Copying Custom Properties.
Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!
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