MS Word

People here are so smart they probably know this off the top on their head.
I want to create a link in MS Word within a single document. That is I have a specific piece of text that I want to have automatically update when I change the first instance of the text.
Sort of lke in a letter:
Dear Mr. Smith
blah blah Mr. Smith

change the first instance of the text, ie Mr. Smith and have all instances of that text change in the document.

I can’t figure it out. I think I can make this work if the source is in another document, but not when the source is in the same document as the targets.


There is a REPLACE tab under FIND (cntl + F). You could just type in Mr. Smith and the name you want to replace it with and check the part that says “replace all”.
But maybe you already know about this and it doesn’t help you. . .

You could do it using the Mail Merge function, but unless you’re doing it for a lot of documents, or updating many fields, I find it much easier just to do a find and replace.

As the others said, replace all works fine. However, that does require you to type “Smith” in multiple places the first time you create the document. I assume you want to avoid that. However, the automation methods aren’t really likely to save you any time and effort overall.

Having said that, you could do it with a form, but forms can be a pain. The easiest way is probably to use a bookmark. I’ll use Word 97 as an example; the menu commands may be slightly different in later versions. This isn’t is complicated as it sounds once you walk through it.

First, make sure you can see the bookmark indicators by going to Tools > Options > View and checking the Bookmark box.

Next, mark the first instance of Smith with a bookmark. To do this, select the whole word “Smith” and then go to Insert > Bookmark. Name the bookmark anything you like. Word puts a pair of heavy black brackets around Smith.

Next, every place in the document you want to repeat Smith, either put in a cross reference to the bookmark (Insert > Cross Reference > Bookmark > Bookmark Text) or a Ref field (Insert > Field > Lists and References (or All) > Ref. You don’t have to add any options to the Ref field if you don’t want to.

When you want to change Smith to Jones, just change the text inside the bookmark, but be sure not to delete a bracket. This can be tricky until you get the hang of it; what works for me is to type the new text in front of the existing text, and then delete the unwanted characters. The bookmark brackets disappear if you just delete the existing text.

Then, select the entire document (Ctrl-A or Edit > Select All) and hit the F9 key. That’s it.

I moonlight transcribing interviews. When I type the document, the interviewer’s name is YY and the interviewee is XX. Saves a lot of time, and I just do a find and replace at the end, inserting their full names.

Then again, I’ve also customised the hell out of the autoreplace function. I type in something that looks a bit like 1337, and save myself a lot of keystrokes:

“bec the aun gov is working tgr with the abl ppl for a dft outcome for mulm in au in a mul world” becomes “Because the Australian Government is working together with the Aboriginal people for a different outcome for multiculturalism in Australia in a multicultural world.”

Can you tell I transcribe a lot of academic leftie wankers? :smiley:

Thats the last time I send any transcription work to you, sir!