Here’s a cool Word tip that can come in handy if you have a lot of similar documents that use the same chunk of text which changes periodically. For example, suppose you have to create a series of contracts that all use a block of legalese. When the lawyers change their mind about what that verbiage needs to say, instead of having to go in and change every single contract, you can update all your contracts automatically just by updating the little block of text.
The key is to link the text block into the document. Instead of doing a regular "copy and paste" to put your text into the document, you create a separate file with the changeable block of text and do a "Paste Special" and link it in. To give it a try, follow these steps.
1. Create a document that has only the text that may change. In this example, it’s the legalese paragraph. Save the file on your hard disk somewhere that you won’t forget with a memorable name (like Legalese.doc).
2. Create the document that has all the other text, except for the text that may change. In this example, it would be the contract. Save the file with a name like CustomerContract.doc.
3. Open up Legalese.doc and choose Edit|Select All to select the entire contents. Now choose Edit|Copy.
3. In CustomerContract.doc, place your cursor at the point where you want to include the legalese paragraph.
4. Choose Edit|Paste Special. In the Paste Special Dialog box, select Paste Link.
The information in Legalese.doc can be copied as a link into as many contract files as you want. Then whenever the lawyers change their legal minds about what the legalese needs to say, you just open up one file (Legalese.doc), change the text, and all your contracts are updated. The only thing that you need to be careful about is moving the Legalese.doc file. If you move it, Word loses track of the link and you’ll have to redo it. That’s why it’s good to save the file with the changeable text in a memorable and consistent location on your computer.