Repeat Text in MS Word by Mapping Content Controls with the XML Pane

This tutorial shows how you can repeat text throughout an MS Word 2013 or 2016 document using xml content controls in a regular Word document. No programming necessary.

Table of Contents:
1:44 – Create an XML Part in a text editor
2:15 – Add your own fields to XML Part
3:15 – Parts needed in the XML text file. (More info:
4:40 – Start Word Document

28 thoughts on “Repeat Text in MS Word by Mapping Content Controls with the XML Pane

  1. Hi Laura, 
    Thank you for this tip, I have used this for a 10-page long contract template, and it has been working GREAT!! However, I seem to have one problem. There is a master template document, and when I create the individual contract, I have to delete certain paragraphs from the master text. However, when I delete the paragraphs, but I go back to the first instance of a given repeated text (the XML part), and correct something in it, the text-reappers in places it should not be appearing. All this with the Tracking function being ON. If I turn it off, the problem disappears, however, I need the function to be on, because the contract gets reviewed by more people

    Example, just to present my problem more visually:
    Master document:
    [Name] is my friend. [Name] has a spouse. [Name] has two children. [Name] has a dog. [Name] has a cat. [Name] loves chocolate.

    Contract should look like this (for Tony, who has a spouse and a dog, but no children, no cats, doesnt like chocolate)
    Tony is my friend. Tony has a spouse. Tony has a dog.

    After deleting the sentences about the children, cats, and chocolate, I realize I made a mistake and should be calling this guy Anthony. I correct the name in the first sentence, and my text suddenly looks like this:

    Anthony is my friend. Anthony has a spouse. AnthonyAnthony has a dog. AnthonyAnthony


    (Again, I would prefer the Track changes function to remain ON)


  2. This is the first Word tutorial I've seen that doesn't assume we haven't seen or used the software before in our lives. Thank you for creating this! It was both helpful and well paced 🙂

  3. Very clear and concise video, Laura. Thank you! I have a question; please excuse me if it is obvious or has been previously answered. If I create a document or template on MS Word 2016, will someone be able to complete the form on older versions of Word (especially 2010 or earlier)?

  4. I found this video last week and everything worked great for 2010, 2013 and 2016. Now all of a sudden it no longer works on any version. Is there some setting of something that needs to be re-enabled?

  5. Thanks for all the great information – so helpful! Two Questions – Is there a way to add "what-if" and Calculations to these fields, based on someone entering or selecting data in one of the other fields? For example, if I have  'StartDate' and 'EndDate' XML fields (set up as this video describes), can the EndDate automatically update to 1 year after the selected StartDate? Additionally, if one of my XML fields is a dropdown with two choices, can another XML field on the document get set to a specific value based on which choice they selected in the dropdown of the other XML field?

  6. Thank you Laura..But I am stuck at the part where I try to insert the saved txt file using the xml mapping gives me an error "This XML file could not be used to create a new part in the document because it's not a valid XML"…could you anyone help me out with this..Thank you

  7. DUring development, I updated my XML part. How can I reload the XML part into my document, or at least get rid of an XML Part that I previously loaded using the XML Mapping pane?

  8. This is quite a nice video. Do you have to save the document as a docx file type? Could you do it with the older .doc file type?
    Also, if you create it in Word 2013 can people open it and use the content controls in Word 2007? Many thanks!

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