Ever have one of those days? It’s miserable weather when you wake up, and the day just gets worse the more you get into it. The dog bites you as you leave the house, you tear your suit on the fence as you run to catch the bus which you end up missing, you’re working on a problem for an hour that does not exist…
So here I am working on a problem for the better part of an hour. Why won’t the fields in the SharePoint document library appear as Document Properties under the Quick Parts button in the Word 2007 ribbon? For that matter, why oh why is the Document Properties button greyed out altogether? The document properties exist – I can see them when I look at the "Properties" in Windows File Explorer… When I view the Document Information Panel, I can see the fields I want to insert in there… and there’s nothing funny going on in the Document Library with the Content Type or Library Security… and I can save values from the DIP and live on the SharePoint site… and like all good developers I’m a Site Admin… so what gives?
It turns out that even though the word document is saved with the .docx extension, it does not necessarily mean that you can use the integration features with SharePoint 2007 / WSS 3, such as Quick Parts. In fact, if you can see the phrase [Compatibility mode] next to the file name in the title bar of the window, you cannot add any type of Document Property into the document at all.
The solution is pretty easy – click on the Office Pearl (the blob with the office logo on it in the top left of the screen) and choose the "Convert" option that appears (it will only be present if you are running in compatibility mode). Voila – now you can add columns from the Document library into the document’s content and update them from the Document Information Panel!