There are many situations in which it would be redundant and cumbersome to manually enter data already stored in SharePoint into a Word document. For example, a standard business contract that contains customer data, such as name, address, and telephone number, would benefit significantly from auto-populating using information within SharePoint. Auto-populating also helps to maintain consistency across platforms and ensure time-efficiency for updates. Instead of correcting multiple documents, an update to the source data would have a ripple-effect on the Word document.
To create shareable data, first create external data columns. On the SharePoint site, navigate to the list or library, and click “Settings”. In the column area, select “Create Column”. Enter a name and set the Column Type as “External Data”. Under “External Content Type,” assign the correct item name, such as “Customer.” From here, create a Word template to display external data and create the new Word document with the inputted field from SharePoint using the External Data Item Picker.