Method 1 using DocProperties – Difficult, but fail-safe

Step 1.    Click OfficeButton>Prepare>Properties
Step 2.    Under the Document Properties Drop-down, select Advanced Properties.
Step 3.    Under the Custom tab, type the Name you want (in my case, Version) and fill in the Value field, then click Add, and then OK.


Step 4.    Back in your document, wherever you want to refer to the version number, simply enter a field that refers to the DocProperty Version.  To do this, press CRTL+F9 and immediately type DOCPROPERTY Version, then hit F9 to update.

Note:    The problem with this method is that you have to repeat steps 1-3 above every time you want to change the version number, and when you change the version number you may find that your document doesn’t update until you print (or print preview).

Method 2 using Bookmarks – Easier, but with a caveat

Step 1.    Type the version number on the front page like you always did.  Like this
Version 2.03
Step 2.    Select the text of your version number – selecting the whole line works best but if there are other numbers on that line select just the number part.
Step 3.    Now on the Insert tab, in the Links group, click Bookmark.
Step 4.    Under Bookmark name, type the name – say Version.
Step 5.    Now anywhere else where you want to refer to that value, simply enter a field that refers to the Bookmark Version.  To do this, press CRTL+F9 and immediately type =Version \# 0.0, then hit F9 to update.
Step 6.    Now all you have to do us update the value of the version is to change the version number on the front page where you defined the bookmark.  But…
Step 7.    Caveat:  When updating the bookmark value, you have to be very careful not to backspace over the last character of the version number, otherwise the bookmark end marker may get moved.  That is why it is better to bookmark the whole line rather than just the number.  That way the bookmark includes the whole paragraph, including the paragraph end marker, which you are less likely to delete.
Step 8.    Example:
Version 1.2
Step 9.    In the line above I have two Bookmarks defined, VersionLine and VersionNo.  The VersionNo bookmark just includes the characters 1.2, while the VersionLine includes the whole line.  Below I have two references to these bookmarks:  (Clearly, if you are reading this from a webpage, you will need to cut & paste it in to MS Word and define the bookmarks and references as described)
This one refers to VersionLine:    1.2
This one refers to VersionNo:    1.2
Step 10.    Now to see the problem, place the cursor immediately following the “2” of the 1.2 of the version number.  Now hit <Backspace> then type the number 3.
Step 11.    Update the fields in this document (Hit CTRL+A then F9).  You will see that the VersionLine reference gets updated, but the VersionNo is now 1.0 – this is because when you hit the <Backspace> key, you reduced the field to “1.”.  Adding the 3 just added the 3 immediately after the field.  Pressing F5 and choosing to Go To Bookmark VersionNo will show that it no longer includes the 3.  If you want to edit the version number, you have to click between the “.” and the “2”, type 3 then hit the <Delete> key.

Note: This method is still not without its problems.  First of all, you will probably have to remember to put the number mask in the field definition – that’s the \# 0.0# part, otherwise when you move to version 2.0, it will appear as version 2 – which may not bother you.  Also, if you want to include other numeric information on the line, such as the date, the whole line method doesn’t work so well.

Method 3 using DocProperties to refer to a Bookmark

There is a third method that combines the two previous methods.  Start by defining a Bookmark as in Method 2, then carry on with Method 1, except when you get to step 3, click the option to Link to Content, then select the Bookmark you’ve just defined.  Now you can either use the DocProperties field that includes the whole line of text OR the formula field to refer to just the version number.  The same caveat and problems as method 2 still apply.