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Denis Stadler – SharePoint & Dynamics CRM Consultant » Tips for ECM in SharePoint 2013: From Word Properties to SharePoint Columns

Tips for ECM in SharePoint 2013: From Word Properties to SharePoint Columns

Written by Denis Stadler on . Posted in SharePoint 2013

Any Word document includes, by default, the following metadata fields:

  • Author
  • Title
  • Subject
  • Keywords
  • Category
  • Status
  • Comments

But when a new document is created, in most of the cases, the user doesn’t insert any values into these fields. And why should they do it? Let’s see the benefits.

Edit the Metadata inside the Word client

First of all let’s add some metadata in a Word document.

In both Word 2010 and Word 2013 click on the Info ribbon menu and then on properties and show document panel.
From the Insert ribbon menu by clicking on the Quick Parts button the user can add the metadata inside the word document.

Windows Explorer Navigation

First of all, if the user right clicks the document and then via properties navigates to the Details tab, the default metadata is visible there.

The field values can be updated directly from this dialog box, and if they are referenced inside the document’s body via quick parts, the document content will be automatically updated.

In Windows 7 the fields are by default visible into the status bar of the Explorer.


In Windows 8 Explorer the fields can be noticed after the activation of the details pane.


Integration with SharePoint

The Word default metadata columns are already created as SharePoint site columns. All of them can be found under Core Documents Columns.

Let’s see what happens when the columns corresponding to the Word metadata fields enumerated above are added to a document library and then a document having values into these metadata fields is uploaded.
Since the Title and the Author (renamed as Created By) column are already into the list, only the following columns should be added: Category, Comments, Status, Subject.
Instead of adding the Keywords column activate the enterprise metadata column for the document library.
And now it is time to upload the document. As expected the SharePoint library’s columns are automatically updated with the already existing Word metadata.
Additional Benefits:

  • 1. Search Engine – Since the metadata values are automatically saved into SharePoint fields, it can be crawled and queried.
  • 2. Managed Metadata – By using the Enterprise Keywords field all the Word tags present into the keyword field are automatically promoted to managed keywords.document-managed-metadata

Nice to Have

I would have preferred that the Category field would have been defined as a choice field. Unfortunately this is not the case. It can still be achieved with the following work-around:

Delete the existing Category column. Create a new choice column, but name it _Category (the underscore character is the key here, because the column match is made on the internal name and not on the display name of the field).

Allow Fill-in Choices. After the column is saved you can rename it to Category if you wish.
The system now matches the Word metadata column with the custom category column.

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Denis Stadler

I'm a technology enthusiast, with more than 10 years of experience in SharePoint and Dynamics CRM projects. To find more details about, please visit the about me page.

Comments (5)

  • Csaba Urbaniczky


    Excellent presentation of very useful information


      • Jos Verberkmoes


        Hallo Denis, thanks a lot for your tip. It is really of great use.

        The only problem I face is that the metada category although present in the Word doc is not populated in SharePoint Foundation 2013. I do not understand this while most of the metadata populated in the Word doc will be found by SPF2013. If you have any idea how I can solve this would be great.

        Thanks, Jos,


        • Denis Stadler


          Hallo Jos,

          Are you using the Category SharePoint column (under core document columns)?


  • Albert


    BAM! Thank you for this solution.


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