How to Use Linked Text to Update Multiple Word Documents

How to Use Linked Text to Update Multiple Word Documents

A Microsoft Office logo.

Microsoft Word makes it easy to add the same text to multiple documents. This is especially handy for text with special formatting, the kind of text that often breaks when pasting it into a new document. The time you find yourself changing the same details in a dozen documents, try this instead.

Open a new Microsoft Word document and enter the text you’re going to paste across multiple other documents. In this case, we’re going to use an address and paste it at the bottom of a new document, keeping the formatting intact.

microsoft word text

Save the file to generate a link. You can save it to any location, but note that if you move the file containing the text, you’ll need to update the link. To do so, right-click in the body of the Word document and click “Update Link.”

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microsoft word text

Highlight the text you want to link in a new document and copy it. You can right-click and select “Copy” or just use CTRL + C on your keyboard. On a Mac, press Command + C instead.

microsoft word copy

Place your cursor in the new document where you’d like the linked text to go.

move cursor

From the Home tab, click the “Paste” drop-down arrow and then “Paste Special.”

microsoft word paste special

In the pop-up menu, click “Paste Link” and then select “Formatted Text (RTF)” from the options. Click “OK” to paste the linked text.

microsoft word paste special

Now, if you need to update an address or add a new phone number, for example, you can change just the linked text in the original document. Once done, it will update all of the other files automatically.

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Lucila is a freelance writer and lifelong learner with an ongoing curiosity to study new things. She enjoys checking out the latest grammar books and writing about video games more than anything else. If she's not running through Colorado’s breathtaking landscape, she's indoors hidden away in her cozy game room trolling noobs and leveling up an RPG character. She is a Final Fantasy IX apologist (although she loves them all… except XV), coffee aficionado, and a bit of a health nut. Lucila graduated from Western Kentucky University with a B.A. in English Literature with a minor in Creative Writing.

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