Using Content Controls to Repeat Form Fields in Microsoft Word 2007 and Word 2010

When creating Microsoft Word-based forms there may be a need to have a form field repeated throughout the whole document. For instance, with a company name, you may want this information repeated automatically throughout the document rather than manually entering the company name into every place it is needed. This helps greatly to ensure fewer errors and improves efficiency when users fill out the form.

In Word 2003 and prior this could be done by inserting a form field and then referencing it as a book mark. In that scenario, the designer of the form would add the field once and mark it to be bookmarked in the field properties. Then wherever the field would need to be repeated they could hit CTRL-F9 and then enter “{ REF fieldname }” to reference the field. This method still works in Word 2007 and 2010. However, it uses the “legacy” form controls and does not allow you to take advantage of the new controls, such as the date chooser. The legacy reference technique also only allows the user to fill in the information in one field; they cannot enter it into just any of the occurrences throughout the document and have it update the rest.

In Word 2007 and 2010, it is no longer possible to simply bookmark the form control and cross-reference it later in the document. However, since the Word 2007+ (.docx) format is now XML-based, the new Content Control features can be used to reference information in the XML structure. And even better, that XML structure is fully customizable in a rather easy manner.

To customize and word with the XML associated with these controls, there is a free application called the Word Content Control Toolkit. It can be downloaded from CodePlex.

The following steps are a quick tutorial on using this tool and creating a simple form that ties multiple fields together with the same value:

  1. Download and install the Word Content Control Toolkit from CodePlex.
  2. In Word 2007/2010, enable the Developer ribbon tab if it is not already enabled.
    1. For Word 2007:
      1. Select the Office button

      2. Select Word Options
      3. Click Popular and then select “Show Developer tab in the Ribbon”
    2. For Word 2010:
      1. Select File > Options

      2. Select Customize Ribbon and ensure the Developer option is marked.

  3. On the Developer Tab, be sure to select Design Mode for adding and editing form fields

  4. Insert a few form fields to create your simple form.
  5. For each field, edit the Properties to give a meaningful name (I usually also select “Content control cannot be deleted” to ensure the form stays intact).

  6. My simple form has the Company Name repeated twice. The end goal is to have the ability to edit either field and have it update the other.

  7. Save the document and close Microsoft Word
  8. Open the Word 2007 Content Control Toolkit and open the document you just saved in Microsoft Word.

  9. You will see the two fields listed on the left under Content Controls. On the right, select “Create a new Custom XML Part”.
  10. Make sure you are in the Edit View and not the Bind View

  11. Using basic XML, we will create the XML tag “<company />” where the Company name will be stored. You can add as many of these as you would like as well as add sample text if you wish.

    1. “<tagname />” will simply add the tag and not add any default value in the XML.
    2. “<tagname>Default Value Text Goes Here</tagname>” – entering the default text inside the tag will set the default value if desired
  12. There is no set limit to the number of tags you can add

  13. After adding the desired tags, switch to the Bind View. You now need to associate these XML fields with the form fields. To do so, select the tag node in the bind view and drag it to the associated Content Control on the left.

  14. Save the document.
  15. Reopen the document in Microsoft Word and enter your information into the first linked field.

  16. It repeats the text as described and is good to go.

By using this technique, you can create very robust form-driven documents. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to use the comments below.

John Chapman

Hello, I'm John Chapman. I am a SharePoint Developer for Sitrion (formerly NewsGator) living in Denver, Colorado. I develop solutions using SharePoint and .NET, and I thrive on the challenge of writing code to overcome the impossible, annoying, or otherwise difficult obstacles.

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    • Jane Hall


      Thank you. I was going nuts trying to figure out how to make the fields repeating. Your instructions were clearly written with good illustrations. My only regret is that I didn’t discover your site sooner.

      Jane Hall

    • Lisa

      Thank-you so much- I have been trying to figure this out for weeks and you have made it very simple for me! Worked like a charm the very first time I tried it. :)

  • Dark_Angel511

    Thanks for the guide, really helped me a lot with repeating controls on Word 2007.

  • chapmanjw

    Glad it helped :D

    • Mark Kolar

      Hello John.
      Came upon your page on duplicating form fields in a word doc. So appreciate it.
      Should this method work where the form fields that are duplicated appear in the header? The original field where the data is entered is not in the header but on the following pages where the duplicating occurs, that data is found in the page header.

      Mark Kolar

      • Mark Kolar

        I see that Carol Choate asks the exact same question below. I am using Word 2007.

        Mark Kolar

  • Felipe

    I test the content control toolkit and it works great. But unfortunately, making many changes on a Text Content Control with the another binding fields and closing and opening the document, it does the document does not save the last changes.

    What can be happening?


    • chapmanjw


      If I understand correctly, you have used the toolkit to bind your fields and then made changes in Word to those fields? The issue might be that Word breaks the binding after making changes to a field and saving. After making changes to a bound field, you may just need to go back into the toolkit and rebind it to the XML field.



      • Peter

        I am having the same issue. I have the forms setup as instructed, however I will fill out the form, save it as another file name. Reopen the file I just saved, and all the fields I have selected as repeat forms are not filled in with any of the information. the rest of the form fields are still populated with the data I filled in. It is just the repeatable fields that are clearing out. I tried rebinding as suggested, but still same problem. Any other suggestions?

        • John Chapman

          Hello Peter,

          To rule out the XML changes due to the i4i lawsuit, are you using Word 2007 or Word 2010? And if you are using 2007, when did you obtain it (before or after Jan 1, 2010)?



          • Peter

            Can you send me an email and I will send the test file to you to look at. Thanks.

        • John Chapman

          In Word 2010, I am not able to reproduce the issue. I tested by creating three fields, two of them bound together. I fill out the form and save it as another file name and the content remains when I reopen it.

          If you have a file that I can try to troubleshoot, send me a message through the Contact page and then Ill have you email it to me.



          • Peter

            I am using Word 2010. I created a sample document and will send to your via email. Let me know if you can fix my issue.

            Again, once I type in the info it repeats through the document to areas I specify, however when I save it and reopen it resets back to blank entry. If I input again, and then save it once more, reopen, the data stays. I have to always save it a second time to have the data stay which can be annoying.

          • Gerd

            May be, this will help you: I struggled with exactly the same problem, using Word 2007. On my machine, after the first entering of content into the mapped content controls, a second namespace was created. After deleting this second one within the Content Control Kit all seems to work properly.

          • Peter

            Gerd … YOU ARE A LIFE SAVER!!! There was about three namespace that was created. I deleted two of them and it work perfectly now. Now more trying to save double time for it change.


            Happy New Year!!

          • Martin

            Hi everyone,

            I have the same problem as Peter has. But I can’t seem to find the namespace thing. I don’t know where to look for it. Is there a possibilitie that someone can give some more info about it?

            I would be thankfull allready.

            Greetings Martin

  • Rinaldo

    Came across you site and have gained so much in such a short time, Awesome, Awesome, Awesome.

    This site ranks as one of my favorites now.

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  • Michael

    Enter your comments here…The 15 built in document property content controls can be copied to a second document, and then repeated through out the second document and still work. The content controls crated with the Word Content Control Toll Kit, when copied to a second document, and then repeated in that second document do not work. Is there a way to make the Word Content Controls created with the tool kit be copied into a second document and then be repeated. This would allow a master form of content controls to be developed for say about 150 different forms which use content controls from the master. Additionally, once one form’s content controls are filled-in a second document with many of the same content controls can be brought into the first document and content controls in common are automatically complated without having to refill-in controls already completed.

  • Lexter

    could tell me if Microsoft Word 2010 offers the ability to design electronic fillable forms as opposed to manual fill-in forms

  • Carol Choate

    I am doing a form in Word 2003. It is a 3 page form that I want to type in a name on the first page and have it repeated n page 2 and 3. I followed the steps, protected the form and filled in a name. Nothing is popping up on page 2 or 3. Any Ideas?

    • John Chapman

      My tutorial here applies to Word 2007 and 2010. In Word 2003, you can create a field as a book mark and have it referenced later in the document using the details in paragraph 2 of my into in this article.

  • Carol Choate

    I have a protected form in Word 2003 where a name is typed in on page 1 (not in the header) and I want it to repeat in the header on every other page. I am using Style Ref and that doesn’t seem to be working and I have used a Bookmark and cross refernce and that didn’t seem to work either. Is it because they are not all in the same part of the page? Is there a way to do what I want?

  • Randy Thomson

    Awesome John. I used this method to create a form in Word 2007/Xp Pro back in late April, then upgraded to a new computer, Word 2010/Win7(64) in May. I wanted to modify the form today, but in the process of upgrading I lost the Word Content Control Utility and the link to your blog. I’ve spent most of today searching for it. I kept running into Greg Maxey’s procedure, which is not nearly as slick. I finally found your blog again, and I’m once more a happy camper. This is a VERY useful capability. Thanks!

    • John Chapman

      Thanks for the feedback. I’m so glad it helped you out.

  • Livia

    I’m very grateful about your tutorial! Thx very much!
    Now a next nut to crack: check this out ;o)
    Is it possible to update the main document properties (e.g. title, subtitle) by using these content control properties only? Just fill in the title via plain-text-control in the document, this control also refers to the control “title” in the footer AND changes immediately the properties title and subtitle of the whole document? This would be amazing! Any ideas how to get this far??? Any misunderstanding?
    muchas grazias ;o)

    • John Chapman

      Unfortunately I don’t know anyway to accomplish this solely using the XML fields and the custom fields like the tutorial uses. The only thing I can think of is to use VBA to read the value of a field and set the document property. That does mean you will have to save the file as a .docm (macro-enabled). You can Google using VBA to set document properties to find a number of tutorials.

    • Naja R Villien

      Have you tried to insert a document property through ‘Insert’ -> ‘Quick Parts’ -> ‘Document properties’? I don’t know if this is exactly what you’re looking for, but it inserts a content control with a binding (read and write) to the built-in document property :-)

      • John Chapman

        Using the built in property fields works great for forms with a few fields. Once you get over the number of fields available you have to use a technique like this one. Also, many of those fields get used elsewhere (such as in the document properties dialog) and using them may interfere with those.

        If you just need one or two fields, the built-in properties are definitely a simpler route to go.

  • Maximus

    You are a damned genious!! Thank you so much, this was driving me CRAZY! I was told it couldn’t be done, but you proved otherwise!! YEAH!!

  • David


    I search and search and you have a solution. Thanks! So I followed your directions and I ran into an error. Actually 2 errors. The first I solved. THe first error was “‘/’ is an unexpected token. The expected token is ‘=’….”
    This I fixed because the tag name was two words “Client Name”. So I changed this tag name to “ClientName”.

    Everything looks good in CCT but when I go to open the word doc (Oh by the way I am using 2010, and the document I am working with is a .dotx) I get this error message: “The File XYZ-123.dotx cannot be opened because there are problems with the content.”

    If I click on Details it says: “Unspecified Error” and “Location: part: /word/document.xml, Line 417, Column: 0″

    If I go back into CCT and delete the XPath from each tag name I added the .dotx opens up just fine.

    One last thing: If I let MS Word fix the problems everything seams to your on the document, but I loose the text formating I have selected.

    Any suggesting?

    • John Chapman

      Does the same error occur if you use a regular .DOCX document?

      • David

        Let me try that. I did not think about that part.

        • David

          Yes It still gives the same error. Could it be the use of capital letters in the Tags that I

          • John Chapman

            Make sure the tags are lower case and have no spaces or special characters in them. Share some screenshots of the tags in the tool, maybe it just needs a second pair of eyes ;)

  • Malcolm Ferguson

    Hi John

    Thanks for this fantastic guide!

    I stumbled upon an alternative approach which makes things a lot simpler – once you’ve created the first Content Control and linked it to an XML tag, you can go back to Word, save the Control as a Quick Part. Then, every time you insert the Quick Part elsewhere in the doc, it is automatically linked – so you don’t need to go back to the Toolkit to link manually.

    Thanks again, you’ve given our doc management a great boost – wouldn’t have got started without your tutorial!
    Malcolm Ferguson

  • James Baumgartner

    This was a great help.

    I need to take this one step further, though.

    I desperately need to create a content control that is conditionally BASED ON — not IDENTICAL TO — another.

    For example, if I create a control from which the uses selects a state by its full name, I need another control that contains its abbreviation (based on the state selected).

    if StateName=”Alabama”
    if StateName=”Arizona”

    Any ideas?

  • Greg Maxey

    You can assign both a text display and a value to each Content Control drop-down list entry. In your “State” dropdown assign the full state names as “Display Names” and the state abbreviations as the “Values” e.g.,

    Alabama AL
    Alaska AK
    Arizona AZ
    Arkansas AR

    Create a text controls titled “AB”

    Use this code:

    Option Explicit
    Dim i As Long
    Private Type ListData
    pAbr As String
    End Type

    Private Sub Document_ContentControlOnExit(ByVal CC As ContentControl, Cancel As Boolean)
    Dim tData As ListData
    Select Case CC.Title
    Case “State”
    tData = GetData(CC)
    With ActiveDocument.SelectContentControlsByTitle(“AB”).Item(1)
    .LockContents = False
    .Range.Text = tData.pAbr
    .LockContents = True
    End With
    End Select
    End Sub
    Private Function GetData(ByRef oCCPassed) As ListData
    For i = 1 To oCCPassed.DropdownListEntries.Count
    If oCCPassed.Range.Text = oCCPassed.DropdownListEntries(i).Text Then
    GetData.pAbr = oCCPassed.DropdownListEntries(i).Value
    Exit For
    End If
    Next i
    End Function

    This is a simplified example. You could define lots of data about each state in the value field in the form of a string and delimiter. For example Abbreviatatin, Capital, Land Area etc. and have a CC for each in the document:

    Option Explicit
    Dim i As Long
    Private Type ListData
    pPostal As String
    pCapital As String
    pArea As String
    End Type
    Private Sub Document_ContentControlOnExit(ByVal CC As ContentControl, Cancel As Boolean)
    If Application.Version < "14.0" Then Main.SetDeveloperTabActive
    Dim tData As ListData
    Select Case CC.Tag
    Case Is = "State"
    tData = GetData(CC)
    With ActiveDocument
    With .SelectContentControlsByTitle("AB").Item(1)
    .LockContents = False
    .Range.Text = tData.pPostal
    .LockContents = True
    End With
    With .SelectContentControlsByTitle("Capital").Item(1)
    .LockContents = False
    .Range.Text = tData.pCapital
    .LockContents = True
    End With
    With .SelectContentControlsByTitle("Land Area").Item(1)
    .LockContents = False
    .Range.Text = tData.pArea
    .LockContents = True
    End With
    End With
    End Select
    End Sub
    Private Function GetData(ByRef oCCPassed) As ListData
    Dim arrData() As String
    For i = 1 To oCCPassed.DropdownListEntries.Count
    If oCCPassed.Range.Text = oCCPassed.DropdownListEntries(i).Text Then
    arrData() = Split(oCCPassed.DropdownListEntries(i).Value, "|")
    Exit For
    End If
    Next i
    On Error GoTo Err_NoPick
    GetData.pPostal = arrData(0)
    GetData.pCapital = arrData(1)
    GetData.pArea = arrData(2)
    Exit Function
    GetData.pPostal = ""
    GetData.pCapital = ""
    GetData.pArea = ""
    End Function

  • Peter W

    This was of great help as I develop templates of cards/sheets for my school, so all the other teachers can manipulate. THIS SAVED ME TONS OF TIME!!!!!!

  • Dan

    Thanks for this excellent tip. I’m astonished that this functionality is not part of word 2010, but it’s a testament to the power of the design that it’s possible to add it.

  • Paul

    I am trying to create a drop down list with use initials that I want to repeat throughout a form. I want to be able to update the data in the drop down list later as users are removed and added.

    I am testing with only one user’s initials

    I have entered data

    But the dropdown list shows empty. What am I missing?


  • Adam

    Works perfectly; great instruction and great tool. I too don’t understand why this isn’t built in?

  • john pettigrew

    Hi there, just to let you know the download ‘Word Content Control Toolkit’ from codeplex is reported as having a virus thru McAfee on our gateway and won’t download.

    Googling it, I see others have the same problem.

    Many thanks & Cheers John P.

  • Greg Maxey


    You say it is no longer possible to simply select the form control, bookmark it, and reference it later. What makes you think that?

    I have never used the ContentControl toolkit. I looks like a lot of work. I used and Word Template Add-In to map content controls:

  • Ron

    Thanks for the tutorial.
    Anyone tried using the xml with namespaces? It doesnt seem to work with namespaces.

  • joshidjosh

    Superb tutorial …. Like a teacher it teaches … step by step …
    Thanks a lot … John

  • Jon

    You nailed it! Awesome. I owe you. So simple with the program and steps above, yet Microsoft made this basic feature so out-of-reach for even a better-than-average MS Office user.


  • GB

    Is this really the only way to duplicate fields?

    I’m trying to use this feature to create a page for 80 address labels (based on Avery template 5167). I can insert one text field, but I can’t copy and paste it. The ‘copy’ button is grayed out when I right-click on the content control. (Am I supposed to manually enter 80 times ‘insert form field’ and then click properties and type in the same tag????)

    There has got to be a simpler way than this that works for address labels and the like that have large numbers of repeating fields.

  • Chris

    I’ve been working with Word 2007 and OpenXML to populate content controls for over a year. In the past month I’ve noticed sometimes things are working as they used too. I’ve got people sending me templates. They sometimes copy controls from one docx to a new Word 2007 doc and then send it to me. The issue seemed to rear it’s head when code is merging docs. But before getting too deep into that, I simplified things and have noticed that when I copy a content control to a new Word 2007 docx, the tag (when you click Design Mode) is solid blue. When I add a text tag myself, it is white with a blue arrow. The copied content control works but the one I add doesn’t seem to work. I did noticed that when I add a text control and check the box to allow carriage returns, it turns the tag to white with arrow. But now it seems that all of them are white with arrows. What does that mean and why are there differences?

  • MM0604

    Does this work if i follow instructions and save file, and then send to a client who has not downloaded the plugin?? i am trying to supply a SIMPLE solution to client with no downloads and instructions other than “fill in the first three fields, and document will be populated with bookmarks.

    thanks for the info.

    • John Chapman

      Yes, it does. You only need the tool to edit/create the fields. You don’t need it to use them.

  • mahern

    Hi John,
    Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge. I have been able to make the fields repeat throughout my document. However, the users of my document have indicated that the controls “reset” automatically after they have filled in the fields. For example, I have a “facility description” Rich Text control and a “County” drop down list. If the person filling in the document enters text in the first field and chooses a county for the second field, the other places where the field is located update accordingly. However, if the person leaves the document open, for more than a few minutes, the entered/selected information disappears and the controls revert back to the default presentation. Any thoughts (MS Word 2010, .docx or .dotx file format).
    Mike A

    • Russ

      Did you ever find a soltion to this problem? I have the same issue. Every few seconds, everything reverts back to their original values.

  • Samuel

    Thanks for your tutorial which has been most useful so far. I am creating a Word document that automatically tailors its content based on certain inputs. One of these inputs is a drop down list content control for gender: Male/Female. The document needs to automatically choose between he/she, him/her, and his/her at numerous points based on that gender input. Is this simple to achieve?

    • John Chapman

      I personally haven’t done anything like that. However, I would imagine you could accomplish this using VBA.

  • marshall dunn

    Amazing! Thank you so much. Been pulling my hair out for the better part of a day…

    • John Chapman

      Glad it helped.

  • Hany

    I am trying to install the toolkit on Windows 7 but it is failing; can you update the installer if possible, or publish a portable version.

    • John Chapman

      Unfortunately, I didn’t write the software. You might start a discussion on the CodePlex project about the issue you are facing.

  • Stephen

    Do you know a way to modify the content – for instance I have “date” and I want another field “dayBeforeDate”. Any ideas how to get it to work?

    – sorry apparently the form edited out the “xml” braces and everything between them on my first post.

  • Tina

    Hi John,

    Thanks so much for your post, i have successfully created a bunched of content controls in my Word template.

    However i have got this message, whenever i reopen my Word file: The Document Information Panel was unable to load. The document will continue to open. For more information, contact your system administrator.”

    And when i try to use the funtion ‘locate the content controls in actrual word document’ in the Content Control Tookit, i also got this error message “Unhandeled exception has occurred in your application. If you click Continue, the application will ignore this erroe and attempt to continue. If you click Quit, the application will close immediately. Call was rejected by callee. (Exception from HRESULT: 0×80010001 (RPC_E_CALL_REJECTED)).”

    Do you have any idea how to get rid of these error messages?

    Thanks so much for time and help as always.

    @ Amsterdam

  • Michann

    I am so glad I found this link. I have been trying to figure out how to get the start dates in my itinerary to appear on both the cover page and the first day heading. Thanks to you, I think that’s finally achievable! I’m still stuck on the second half of this project though. Now I need to get the rest of the day headings to pre-populate, based on that start date. (If Day 1 = Jan. 22, 2012, Day 2 = Jan. 23, 2012, etc.) Do you happen to know how to do that?

    Thank you so much to anybody that can help!

  • Damon

    Hi John,

    Great information. Do you know if it is possible to map a drop-down menu to values entered in the form?

    Ultimately, I’d like to be able to map the values in the form to SharePoint or vice-versa via the Information Document Panel, although I’m not sure if this is possible. I know I could use InfoPath, but we like the flexibility that Word gives us.


  • Nizam

    This is not applicable for ActiveX Droplist. Cannot repeat the content. Properties are different compare to normal Field Text.
    Any guidance for this please?

    I use ActiveX Dropdown list. I want the selected list to be displayed again in other section on the same page. For example the Dropdown list is having Student,Teacher,Admin and I choose Student. I want the work Student to appear again automatically on the same page (maybe in otther column)

    Thanking you in advance

  • Steve

    Great page John, solved my hair pulling out also..
    Just like Damon, I am also now getting a bit more adventurous and looking to see if we can map drop downs as this would help a few areas be more consistant.

    Just getting Syntax errors when trying the above solution..

    A solution to this also would be great.

  • Graham Peters

    Thanks, this has saved me a lot of time.


  • Ranjith Kumar Yella

    I used field mapping in SQL Server procedure building once and was wondering if this can be done in word by any chance. Thank you for post. Very helpful.

  • barbara

    I followed your directions completely but when I added the content to the text box it did not adid it to the other text boxes. What am I doing wrong.

  • John

    John thank you SO much for posting about this! You really simplified my problem with this post – I can’t thank you enough. Your steps were very well-written too. Thanks again!

  • Renata

    John, thank you! All other tutorials looked too difficult and this one was a breeze to replicate. I seem to be having trouble duplicating fields originating in the main document into the Header. I really need to use the header. Any ideas or extra code? Thanks!

  • Katrina

    Hi John,

    Thanks so much for your help to get this sorted out, your instructions are fantastic. Now, do you have any idea how to make the shading show on the content control fields? I’ve tried going to Options/Advanced/Field Shading/Always but it doesn’t seem to work. If I select Form Field Shading under the Legacy tools it only effects the legacy form fields, not the content controls. Any ideas?!! I work with people who can’t handle it if they’re not spoon fed!

    Thanks heaps

  • Joel

    This walk-through is amazing! I’ve been searching for days to find exactly this. You’ve saved me weeks of work!

    I’m having an issue thoiugh, in that I’ve created a template form to be filled out for many different sets of information. Each document made from the template, however, references to the content control fields in the original template rather than their own data fields… is there a way to break the link so that each new document only references its own data?

    • Joel

      I read through the above comments, it was the double-namespace issue as discussed. Deleted ‘namespace (2)’ and it now works perfectly!

  • Vikki

    I am trying to create a form that has two pages. The info on the first page can be completed by anyone. This info is carried over to the second page with additional fields that can only be completed by a specific department. I seem to be having difficulty in securing this form. The first time I created this form, the fields copied perfectly. Now, because of many changes, I am cr-doing the content controls. I don’t seem to be successful as I was last time. Can you help?

  • CSandusky

    I am having difficulty setting up the tags. I type them is as shown in this link, for example . When I try to then switch back to bind view I get an error screen that says:

    Please fix XML error before switching views: ‘/’ is an unexpected token. The expected token is ‘=’. Line 2, position 12.

    If I change that token and then try to switch to bind view again, I get another error telling me to change something else. After I changer everything per the error screens, then I can switch to bind view, but none of my tags show up.

    Any suggestions??

    • Joanne

      Thank you brilliant it worked

      Though I do recommend you let people know their tag names need to be one word no spaces etc or else the error on switching views appears : ‘/’ is an unexpected token. The expected token is ‘=’. Line 2, position ##.

  • Step and repeat

    Your method of telling everything in this paragraph is actually fastidious, every one can effortlessly understand it,
    Thanks a lot.

  • LawyerbyDay

    I am a bit late to the party but I gotta say, as a geeky lawyer whose clients really need to have some vetted and approved “templates” that can be used without paying big bucks to have me re-invent the wheel, this has been invaluable and has helped me keep them happy….. THANK YOU!!!

  • Godzilla Surfer

    Has anyone had a problem with the xpath not saving? I create the new fields and then assign the xpath and save. The next time I open the document the xpaths are removed. This is the reason why the repeat is not working in my form but I’m unsure why its not saving. Anyone have suggestions?

    • Suzanne Kelly

      I had the same problem until I closed Word entirely before making the edits using the Content Control Toolkit. After that, it worked exactly as described.

  • Bruno

    Hi John!

    Thanks for this tutorial! Excellent!

    My problem is the following:
    I may have lists in my XML, like the following



    The list size change from XML file to XML file; the structure is fixed, the content is not.

    How can I have my word document take into account this situation?

    Best Regards


  • Andi Yudhistira

    there’s a more simple method actually.

    a Simple Linked Content Controls.

    1. File→Option→Customize Ribbon→Check on the “Developer” (to unhide the developer tab on the toolbar)

    2. Developer→Rich Text Content Control or Plain Content Control (the one with the Aa icon) to create a Content Control box which you can fill any text like a form.

    3. Right Click on the Content Control to Copy it.

    4. Paste it where ever you need it, but don’t use the right click or ctrl+v to paste it.

    5. Home→Paste→Paste Special→Paste link.

    6. Viola… any text you enter in the master Content Control will paste to the rest.

    • Miam

      Great simple way! I spent a lot of time trying to find it. Just to be noted, that to update all fields in the documents Ctrl-A and F9 to be pressed.

  • Derek Joyce

    The document I am using now opens up the 2nd most recently saved version of the file.
    For example under “client” I write Jack. I open up the word document again and “client” is blank. I then write Mary under “client”. When I open up the word document again “client” is now saved as Jack all over my document.
    Anyone encountered this?

    • Henrik Sekander

      i got the same problem. dont know why!

      • Robert Dusik

        I’m having the same problem. Any solution anybody? THANKS

  • Ben Williams

    Is there a way to have data entered populate the options in a drop down menu? For example, If on a form I type in 2 names. I would like a drop down menu to have those names as the drop down options.