Macro – Update All Fields in Word Document
In this article, you will find a VBA macro that lets you update all fields in a Word document no matter where the fields are found. The macro will find and update fields not only in the main body but also in headers, footers, footnotes, endnotes, text boxes and other shapes, etc. The macro will even find and update fields in shapes inside drawing canvases anywhere in the document.
You can install and use the macro without any knowledge about macros and VBA.
Macro updated 5-Aug-2020 (by mistake, some code lines were missing in the previous version).
What you should know about the update fields macro
The macro below will update all fields in the active Word document no matter where the fields are found. By using a macro to update fields, you simply need to run the macro to have all fields updated. Alternatively, you might have to perform a number of manual actions to make sure that all fields are updated if they are spread around in different parts of Word such as the main story, headers, footers, footnotes, endnotes, text boxes and other shapes.
Note that the macro includes a number of comments that explain a little about what is going on. The information after the macro code below will cover it in more detail.
You can copy the macro code below and insert it either in your Normal.dotm file or in another Word file of your choice. For help on installing a macro, see How to Install a Macro.
Warnings that may be shown if you manually update fields in Word are automatically suppressed when using the Update Fields macro
If you attempt to manually update fields in comments, footnotes and endnotes, Word may show a warning as illustrated in Figure 1 below, telling that the action cannot be undone. To allow the update fields macro to update all fields anywhere in the document without being stopped by such alerts, the macro code turns off such alerts while running.
Locked fields will not be updated by the macro
You can lock fields in Word. The purpose of locking fields is normally that you want to prevent the fields from being updated.
The macro below does not update locked fields. All locked fields will remain unchanged. It is, however, possible to create a macro that checks each individual field, unlocks it if locked, updates the field and locks it again.
For information about how to manually lock and unlock fields, see How to prevent fields from being updated – locked fields.
Protected documents must be unprotected before using the macro
If a document is protected, the purpose is normally to prevent any changes or certain changes to be made to the document. In case of a protected document, the macro shows a message (see Figure 2 below), telling you to unprotect the document before running the macro. Thereby, it is up to you to decide whether it is OK to update fields in the document.
Track changes and updating fields – the Update Fields macro lets you turn it off during the update
If you manually update fields in a Word document while track changes is turned on, every updated field will be marked as revisions where the old field is deleted and a new one added. This is most often just disturbing noise in the document. The macro below checks whether track changes is on. If that is the case, the macro shows the message in Figure 3, letting you turn it off during the field update. If you do so, track changes will be turned on again before the macro finishes.
It is possible to extend the macro with code that turns off any protection, updates the fields and finally sets the protection back to the original.
The code in the macro that updates fields in text boxes, shapes, etc. is found twice. That code could be moved to a function that is called from the main macro. That way, it would be needed only once. However, I decided to allow the redundant code so that only one sub is needed, making it simpler for users who are new to VBA.
The macro – UpdateAllFieldsInDocument
Sub UpdateAllFieldsInDocument() '========================= 'Macro created 2019 by Lene Fredborg, DocTools - www.thedoctools.com 'Revised August 2020 by Lene Fredborg 'THIS MACRO IS COPYRIGHT. YOU ARE WELCOME TO USE THE MACRO BUT YOU MUST KEEP THE LINE ABOVE. 'YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO PUBLISH THE MACRO AS YOUR OWN, IN WHOLE OR IN PART. '========================= 'The macro updates all fields in the activedocument no matter where the fields are found 'Includes fields in headers, footers, footnotes, endnotes, shapes, etc. '========================= Dim oDoc As Document Dim rngStory As Range Dim oShape As Shape Dim oShape_2 As Shape Dim oTOC As TableOfContents Dim oTOF As TableOfFigures Dim oTOA As TableOfAuthorities Dim blnTurnOnTrackRevisions As Boolean On Error GoTo ErrorHandler If Documents.Count = 0 Then MsgBox "No documents are open.", vbOKOnly, "Update All Fields" Exit Sub Else Set oDoc = ActiveDocument End If With oDoc 'Stop if document protection prevents full update of fields If .ProtectionType <> wdNoProtection Then MsgBox "The document is protected. In order to update all fields, you must first unprotect the document.", _ vbOKOnly + vbInformation, "Update All Fields – Protected Document" GoTo ExitHere End If blnTurnOnTrackRevisions = False 'Show msg if track changes is on 'Let user turn it off to prevent all updated fields marked as revisions If .TrackRevisions = True Then If vbYes = MsgBox("Track changes is currently ON. Do you want to turn OFF track changes while updating fields?", _ vbYesNo + vbQuestion, "Turn Off Track Changes?") Then blnTurnOnTrackRevisions = True .TrackRevisions = False End If End If End With 'Turn off screen updating for better performance Application.ScreenUpdating = False 'Prevent alert when updating footnotes/endnotes/comments story Application.DisplayAlerts = wdAlertsNone 'Iterate through all stories and update fields For Each rngStory In ActiveDocument.StoryRanges If Not rngStory Is Nothing Then 'Update fields directly in story rngStory.Fields.Update If rngStory.StoryType <> wdMainTextStory Then 'Update fields in shapes and drawing canvases with shapes For Each oShape In rngStory.ShapeRange With oShape.TextFrame If .HasText Then .TextRange.Fields.Update End If 'In case of a drawing canvas 'May contain other shapes that may contain fields If oShape.Type = msoCanvas Then For Each oShape_2 In oShape.CanvasItems With oShape_2.TextFrame If .HasText Then .TextRange.Fields.Update End If End With Next oShape_2 End If End With Next oShape End If 'Handle e.g. multiple sections with unlinked headers/footers or linked text boxes If rngStory.StoryType <> wdMainTextStory Then While Not (rngStory.NextStoryRange Is Nothing) Set rngStory = rngStory.NextStoryRange rngStory.Fields.Update 'Update fields in shapes and drawing canvases with shapes For Each oShape In rngStory.ShapeRange With oShape.TextFrame If .HasText Then .TextRange.Fields.Update End If 'In case of a drawing canvas 'May contain other shapes that may contain fields If oShape.Type = msoCanvas Then For Each oShape_2 In oShape.CanvasItems With oShape_2.TextFrame If .HasText Then .TextRange.Fields.Update End If End With Next oShape_2 End If End With Next oShape Wend End If End If Next rngStory '========================= 'Update any TOC, TOF, TOA For Each oTOC In oDoc.TablesOfContents oTOC.Update Next oTOC For Each oTOF In oDoc.TablesOfFigures oTOF.Update Next oTOF For Each oTOA In oDoc.TablesOfAuthorities oTOA.Update Next oTOA '========================= ExitHere: On Error Resume Next 'Restore to original track revisions if relevant If blnTurnOnTrackRevisions = True Then oDoc.TrackRevisions = True End If 'Clean up Set oDoc = Nothing Set rngStory = Nothing Application.ScreenUpdating = True Application.DisplayAlerts = wdAlertsAll Exit Sub '========================= ErrorHandler: 'Make sure to display alerts again in case of an error Resume ExitHere End Sub
You will find a number of other articles on this website related to macros and fields.
For help on installing a macro, see How to Install a Macro.
For detailed information about how Word updates fields, see my article Updating Fields in Word – How it Works.
For an overview of keyboards shortcuts related to fields, see my article about useful shortcuts related to fields.
In case of problems with cross-reference fields not being updated as expected, see my article Cross-reference Problems - Troubleshooting.