What are Reusable Variables?


Reusable variables allow writers to centralize the definition of commonly used text – company names, product names, contact information, URLs, document information, etc. – and then easily reuse this text within and across documents. Variables are also used as placeholder pieces of text that automatically update whenever their value changes.

For example, a writer can create a reusable variable called Client_Name and insert this variable into the content of their document any number of times. When the writer assigns or changes the value of the Client_Name variable, all occurrences of Client_Name throughout the document will automatically update to reflect the change.

Reusable variables eliminate the dependence to use the Find and Replace feature in Microsoft® Word to update content. Variables are created and defined in one central location, and when changes are made to these variables the variables are automatically updated in the document.

Quick Summary

  • Use reusable variables to centralize the definition of commonly used text, such as company names, product names, contact information, URLs, and more.
  • Reusable variables promote content reuse, making it easy to update placeholder text, and eliminate common Copy & Paste and Find & Replace errors.
  • When you create a reusable variable, you assign the variable a name and a value.
  • After creating a reusable variable, you insert the variable into your document instead of typing the value over and over again. The value currently assigned to the variable will be displayed in the document.
  • When you update the value of a reusable variable in a document, all document content using the variable is immediately updated; no manual Find & Replace function is needed.
  • Reusable variables are defined in a Microsoft Word document or in a SmartDocs repository. Document level variables are local to the document that they are created in. Repository level variables are stored in a SmartDocs repository and can be shared across documents.
  • Repository level variables can be locked or unlocked. Locked variables do not allow the value to be changed and are used to represent static text (e.g., your company name, company address, etc.). Unlocked variables can have their value set on a document-by-document basis.
  • When you insert content that contains reusable variables into a document, the variables are automatically created in the target document if they do not already exist. If they do already exist, then the variables take on the value already assigned in the target document.
  • When you publish a SmartDocs document, reusable variables are removed from the document and all instances of variables in the document content are converted to plain text – creating an output that is clean with no trace that SmartDocs reusable variables were used.
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