Tips, Tricks, and Answers
The following articles are available for the 'Fields' topic. Click the article''s title (shown in bold) to see the associated article.
A Quick-and-Dirty Word Count
Word provides a tool that counts the number of words in a document. Here's an alternative method of calculating the number of words in a document.
Adding a Dynamic Total in Your Document
You can use a few bookmarks and an equation field to add a dynamic total anywhere in your document. Once in place, you can change any of the amounts, and the total is updated the next time the field results are updated.
Age Calculation with Fields
People don't normally think of using fields to do any calculations. Even so, you can use fields to perform a simple calculation, like determining an age.
Assigning a Macro to a Button in Your Text
One way you can access macros is through the use of a button, added directly into the text of your document. This is done with the MacroButton field, described in this tip.
Auto-incrementing Form Fields
Templates are a great way to create new documents because they act as intricate patterns to what those new documents should contain. What if you want the new documents to include some sort of automatically incrementing number? This tip looks at ways you can accomplish the task.
Automatically Updating Fields and Links
You can update fields and links automatically when you print your document, but what if you want them updated when you open or close the document? That is not as easy of a proposition, but there are ways to fulfill the request, as shown in this tip.
Calculating Dates with Fields
Can you calculate dates using fields? Yes, but you probably donít want to except as a learning experience. An easier way is to do your calculations using macros instead.
Can't Place Merge Field in Header of a Catalog Merge Document
Word can perform several different types of mail merge operations, and the type you choose can affect how you are able to use merge fields in the merge document. This tip explains how catalog merges are different from other types of merges, and how that affects placing merge fields in a header or footer.
Changing a Field Parameter
Fields are a powerful way to add dynamic content to your documents. Some fields rely on the use of parameters to control what they display. This tip explains how you can use Find and Replace to easily change those field parameters.
Compound Page Numbering
Simple page numbering is easy to add to your documents. More complex numbering (such as two numbering schemes in the same document) are a different story. This tip provides some guidance on how you can approach your more complex numbering needs.
Condensing Figure Caption References
Word can automatically add captions to your figures. You can then reference those captions from within your document. If you want to reference a range of figures, however, you'll need to rely on some fancy usage of fields.
Conditional Calculations in Word
Word allows you to insert simple formulas, using fields, in table cells. You can also create simple conditional calculations using the IF field, as described here.
Controlling Field Shading
If you use fields in your documents, you may want to highlight them in some way so that you can find them easier. Word includes a setting that allows you to specify exactly how you want your fields shaded.
Converting Field Results to Text
Fields are meant to be dynamic, providing a result based on conditions at the time they are updated. You may want to convert the dynamic results of a field to regular text. This can be done with a simple shortcut key, discussed in this tip.
Copying and Pasting Field Codes
Want to copy a field code and paste it in some other Windows program? This can be trickier than it sounds. Here's the lowdown on why this is, and a macro you can use to make copying and pasting field codes easier.
Counting Fields in a Document
Need to count the number of times a particular field appears in a document? It's easy to do when you apply the techniques described in this tip.
Creating an AutoText List
The AUTOTEXTLIST field is one of those esoteric fields that you may know nothing about. The cool thing it does is it allows you to define a drop-down list that automatically displays options based on AutoText entries in your document.
Cross-referencing to an Automatic Number
Word allows you to add automatic numbering to different elements of your document, such as to headings. If you want to create a cross-reference to a number that is automatically added, you can do so by applying the technique in this tip.
Date Last Edited
You can insert several dynamic dates into your document. One you may want is to add the date when the last edit was performed. Word doesn't track this date, but has other dates that may be more what you really need.
Dates Updating when Converting
Word allows you to convert documents from WordPerfect format to Word. In doing so, you may notice that some dates in the original documents are updated. This tip discusses some possible causes and what you can do about it.
Deleting All Fields
Fields can be a great way of adding small snippets of dynamic data to your documents. However, you may want to get rid of all the fields that a document contains. There are a few ways you can go about making this change.
Differences between SEQ and LISTNUM Fields
Word provides several different fields you can use for custom numbering in a document. Two of the most commonly used are the SEQ and LISTNUM fields. This tip explains the major differences between the two.
Displaying Blanks when Summing to Zero
If you use fields to sum the information in your table columns, you might want to display a blank when the sum is zero. The easiest way to do this is by adding a couple of switches to your field codes.
Fields (sometimes called field codes) allow you to insert dynamic information in your documents. If you want to see the codes used in the fields instead of the results of those codes, use the shortcut in this tip.
Ensuring Standardized Numbering
Want to make sure your paragraph numbering looks the same on different computer systems? It's a harder task in Word than it might seem.
Entering a "Slashed Zero" in Your Document
Need to add the occasional zero with a slash through it? There are a couple of ways you can accomplish this task.
Exactly Positioning Text
If you need to control exactly where text will appear on the page or relative to other text, you need to know about the ADVANCE field. Here's the low-down.
Extracting INCLUDEPICTURE File Names
If you use the INCLUDEPICTURE field to add images to your document, you may love the macro in this tip. It allows you to pull all the filenames used in the field, resulting in a handy image file list.
Field Calculations in Locked Forms
When adding form fields to a document, you may want some of the fields to be automatically calculated from other fields. If you don't understand how Word handles the fields, it is easy to get the wrong result. Here is a quick overview and resolution for one common trap.
Field in Footer Won't Update
Word provides a handy shortcut that allows you to update the fields in any text you've selected. When you select your whole document, you'd expect Word to update all the fields in your document, right? Wrong, and here's why.
Field Reference to Number of Prior Pages
Fields are used for all sorts of purposes in Word, but typically to provide some sort of dynamic information. This tip shows some of the power of fields by using them to calculate and display the number of previous pages in a document.
Fields Won't Update when Printing
When you print a document, Word normally performs several steps, one of which is to update any fields contained in the document. If the field updating doesn't occur, it could be due to document corruption, as discussed in this tip.
Fields allow you to add simple dynamic content to your document. Here's how you can find the fields when you need to know where they all are located.
Forcing the Date to the Next Wednesday
Working with today's date in Word is easy. Trying to manipulate dates to come up with a future one can be an entirely different story. This tip provides a quick and easy macro that inserts the date of whatever next Wednesday happens to be.
If you need to format a number so that it appears as currency, it is not as easy to do in Word as it is in Excel. You can use the technique introduced in this tip (utilizing fields) to control exactly how you want that number displayed.
Getting Information About Fields
Want to know what a certain field does and how to use it? Word's online help is surprisingly helpful in getting the information you need. Here's how to find that help.
Getting Rid of All TA Fields
The first step in creating a table of authorities is to mark citations throughour your document. If you want to get rid of all the markings, you can do so by following the steps in this tip.
Getting Rid of Fields Inserted by Third-Party Programs
Third-party programs can be used to affect a document and change what is contained therein. Of course, getting rid of what those programs add to a document can be a challenge, as discussed in this tip.
Inserting a Cross-Reference to an Item in a List
When you create a list using the SEQ field, you may want to create a cross-reference to an item in that field. You can do this using a couple variations on the SEQ field itself.
Inserting a Cross-Reference to Text
Cross-referencing is a great feature of Word that allows you to add references to text in various places of your document. Change the text in one place, and the reference to that text is automatically changed. This tip shows how easy it is to add a cross-reference.
Inserting a Cross-Reference to the Last Style on a Page
It is often helpful to reference a specific heading in the header or footer of a page, and have that reference change on each page. This is easy to do using the STYLEREF function, as described in this tip.
Inserting a Document's File Location
Once you save a document on disk, it is stored in a particular folder (or location) on that disk. You may want that location to appear somewhere in your document. You can use the FileName field, discussed in this tip, to dynamically add that information.
Inserting a Document's Location
Once you save a document on disk, it is stored in a particular folder (or location) on that disk. You may want that location to appear somewhere in your document. You can use the FileName field, discussed in this tip, to dynamically add that information.
Inserting a Document's Path
You can use the FILENAME field to insert a document's filename and, optionally, the path to that filename. However, if you want to only insert the path to the file, then you'll need to do more than just use a simple field.
Inserting a Document's Size
Want to insert the size of your document directly into the document body? You can do so by using one of the dynamic fields available in Word.
Inserting a Dynamic Word Count in Your Document
Need to know how many words are in your document? You can use the NumWords field to add that statistic, dynamically, to anyplace you want in your document.
Inserting a File Name without an Extension
Sometimes you might like to insert a file name into your document without including the file extension. The FILENAME field does not have an option to do this. Here are a couple of workarounds that allow you to insert the file name this way.
Inserting a Page Number Field
The PAGE field is used to indicate the current page number on which the field occurs. If you want to add this field to your document, here's a handy shortcut you can use.
Inserting Custom Properties with Fields
If you define a group of custom properties for a document, you may want a way to display the contents of those properties dynamically. You can do this using fields, as described in this tip.
Fields are used for a variety of dynamic purposes in a document. There are a couple of ways you can easily insert fields, as described in this tip.
Inserting Page Number Cross-References
Want to insert a dynamic cross-reference to a particular page number? It's easy to do following the steps in this tip.
Inserting Summary Information
Want to insert into your document those snippets of information that you know Word maintains about your document? It's easy to do, as outlined in this tip.
Inserting the Author Name
Did you know that Word tries to keep track of who the author of a document is? This information can be easily added to the body of a document by following these steps.
Inserting the Current Month
Need to add the name of the current month to your document? Word includes a field that can make the addition easy, and it even dynamically updates over time.
Inserting the Date Your Document Was Last Printed
Word keeps track of each time you print your document, and you can automatically insert the last printing date anywhere you want. This tip explains which field you specifically use to insert this information.
Inserting the Date Your Document was Last Saved
Word keeps track of the date each time you save your document. If you want to insert that "save date" in your document, you can use a field to do it.
Inserting the Document Creation Date
One of the pieces of information tracked by Word is when a document was first created. Here's how you can access that date and add it to your document.
Inserting the Document Revision Number
Need to know how many times your document has been saved? Word keeps track of this information, and makes it easily accessible through the use of a field.
Inserting the Document Title in Your Document
One of the pieces of information you can store with a document is the title of that document. Using fields, you can then insert that title anywhere in the document you desire.
Inserting the Edit Time
One of the things that Word keeps track of is how long, in minutes, you've been editing your current document. This information can be inserted into the document using the EditTime field.
Inserting the Name of the Last Person to Save the Document
Who saved the document the last time? Word keeps track of that information, and you can insert the person?s name into the document itself.
Inserting the Subject in Your Document
One of the properties you can specify for a document is a subject. You can then use a field code to insert this subject, dynamically, into your document. This tip explains how to access the subject in your documents.
Inserting the Template Name in Your Document
Templates are a powerful part of the Word experience, as they allow you to create and format documents based on patterns. Every document has an associated template, and you can insert the name of that template in the document itself by using a special field designed for that purpose.
Inserting the Total Number of Characters in Your Document
One of the things that Word keeps track of regarding your document is the number of characters it contains. Using the NumChars field, you can insert this number anywhere in your document that you'd like.
Inserting the Total Number of Pages in Your Document
Word keeps track of many statistics for each of your documents. One statistic is the total number of pages in the printed document. You can insert this information anyplace you want, using the NumPages field.
Inserting the User's Address
If you enter your address into Word, you can insert that address anywhere you want in a document by using a single field. This tip introduces the UserAddress field and shows how easy it is to use it within a document.
Inserting the User's Initials
One of the pieces of information tracked by Word are your name and initials. You can insert your initials by using the UserInitials field, described in this tip.
Inserting the User's Name
Word keeps track of a name for the person using the program. If you want to add this person's name into the document, dynamically, you can do so with a field.
Jumping Between Fields
Need to step through the fields in a document? It's easy using the shortcuts detailed in this tip.
Limiting Directories in the FILENAME Field
When you use the FILENAME field in a document, it can include the full path name that leads to your file. This might be too long for your needs, however. Here's a way you can limit what directories are shown in the path.
Locating Locked Fields
A field can be locked or unlocked, and its condition controls whether it is updated automatically or not. If you want to search for only locked fields in a document, you're going to need the macro presented in this tip.
Maintaining Fields in a Merged Document
When merging documents, you may want to include some fields in the merged documents. For some fields this is impossible, as to include them would make no sense.
Monday's Date on Friday's Report
Automatically putting today's date at the top of a report is easy. Putting a different date, automatically, can be more difficult.
Moving Footnote References Using Find and Replace
When you are editing a document, you may need to modify where the author placed footnotes relative to surrounding punctuation. You can use Word's Find and Replace capabilities to effect the changes.
Numbering with Sequence Fields
One of the most powerful and versatile fields you can use in Word is the SEQ field. This tip shows how you can use the field to create your own numbered lists.
Printing Field Codes
Field codes allow dynamic information to be included in documents and can be a great boon. At some point you may want to print a copy of your document with field codes displayed. Here's how to do it.
Printing Index Field Codes
Word allows you to configure what you see so that field codes are visible instead of the results of those field codes. However, even though you an see all your field codes, you won't be able to print out the XE field codes unless you take an additional step not necessary for other fields codes.
Tired of getting the fields in your document overwritten by regular editing tasks? Here's how to make those mistakes more difficult.
Putting Document Names in Headers or Footers
Want to include the file name of a document on the printed copy without rearranging the layout? You can use a header or footer and this tip explains how easy it is to do.
Quickly Inserting the Date Your Way
Tired of messing with inserting the date and then changing it to a format that is more to your liking? There's a quick way you can set up Word to allow you to enter dates in just the manner that you want, as described in this tip.
QuickWords in Word
WordPerfect users coming to Word may miss a feature called QuickWords. This tip examines some ways you can get around the lack of this feature in Word.
Referencing a Page Number In Another Document
Page references are a common element of many documents. If you need to have a page reference to a page in a different document, then you may be at a loss as to how to create it. Here's how.
Referencing Fields in Another Document
Sometimes you may have two documents that are so integrally related to each other that the one document may require the use of information stored in the other. You can accomplish this sharing of data through the use of the INCLUDETEXT field.
Removing Specific Fields
Word allows you to place all sorts of fields in your documents. If you want to search for only specific types of fields, then you'll love the techniques presented in this tip.
Searching for a Specific Field
Fields can be a great boon to document development, as they allow you to insert different types of dynamic information in the body of the document. If you want to search for a specific type of field, you can do so using the techniques presented here.
Selecting a Field
Do you need to select a field? It is as simple as selecting a single character, as this tip explains.
Sending Printer Commands
If you need to send a command directly to your printer, then you need to use the PRINT field. It allows you to send output to the printer without Word trying to process it as text.
Sequentially Numbering Elements in Your Document
One of the most powerful and useful fields provided by Word is the SEQ field. This tip describes how you can use the field to number different parts of your document.
Setting Up an Array with Fields
One of the more esoteric ways to display data is with an "array," which is like a miniature inline table. This tip demonstrates how to insert these arrays in your document using the EQ field.
Special Characters in Fields
If you try to add a quote mark or a backslash as part of a field parameter or switch, you may be surprised at what you actually end up with. In order to use these characters you need to apply the technique covered in this tip.
Standard Text before a Sequence Number
When you use fields to number items within a document, you may want to add some standard text before each field. There are a few ways you can approach this task, as described in this tip.
Starting Chapters on Odd-Numbered Pages
Want to start a new heading on an odd-numbered page? You can do it with section breaks, obviously, but you can also do it using fields. This tip shows you how.
Stopping DATE Fields from Updating when Opening a Document
A normal DATE field shows the current date, so it is constantly changing. This can cause problems in a document where you want that date to be static. Here are some ideas you can apply to fix the situation.
Superscript and Subscript at the Same Place
Do you want a superscript and subscript character to appear directly above each other? There are multiple ways you can accomplish this task, and this tip examines all of those ways.
Suppressing ASK Fields When Printing
Do you like using ASK Fields in your documents to get information from the user but don't want Word to update the fields more than once? There are a couple of solutions to this problem. Here's how to use them.
Tools to View Field Codes
Fields can be used to add all sorts of dynamic data to your documents. Viewing the field codes, at times, is desirable. Here's a way to add a handy clickable tool that will both display and hide those field codes.
Understanding DATE Field Formatting
One of the most commonly used fields is the DATE field. You can specify how the DATE field displays the current date by using the switch settings detailed in this tip.
Understanding Default DATE Field Formatting
The DATE field is one of the most commonly used fields for placing dynamic information in your document. It is helpful to understand how formatting is done within the field.
Understanding the Advance Field
You can use the Advance field to change where text is positioned in your document. This tip shows how to use it and the options available.
Understanding the COMPARE Field
The COMPARE field is rather esoteric, but it can be helpful when you need to compare two values using fields. The result of the comparison can be used with other fields to create different results for different conditions.
Unwanted Page Breaks in Cross-References
You can use fields to cross-reference different text in a document. If you get unwanted results from the cross-referencing (like an unwanted page break), then you need the information in this tip.
Updating a Field in a Text Box
If you put a field into a text box, you might be surprised to find that it doesn't update when you try to update all your fields. That is because Word doesn't really update "all" fields when you update. This tip presents several techniques you can use to achieve the updating you desire.
Updating Calculated Fields in a Form
When creating a Word form, you use special form fields to collect information from users. You can even perform calculations on some of those fields. Here's how to make sure that the calculations are always current.
Updating Fields Automatically
You can place dynamic fields into many parts of your document. If your document contains a lot of fields, you might wonder how you can easily update all of them at one time. This tip examines how this is done.
Updating Fields in Locked Forms
Updating form fields in Word can be confusing, especially when the fields are locked in a form. This tips explains why the fields are difficult to update and a way you can work around the problem.
Using Continued Lines
You can create a special header and footer page numbering scheme by using nested fields. This tip shows an example of how you can use the fields to calculate the next page number and to identify the last page of the document.
Using Fields for Fractions
Want a quick way to create fractions? You can do it by using fields, as described in this tip.
Using Only Odd Page Numbers
Do you need to number the pages of your document using only odd page numbers? Word doesn't provide a way to do this, but you can create your own special page numbers that reflect what you want.
Using RD Fields with Chapter Headings
The RD field can be handy for pulling together a bunch of documents into a single file. However, using the field can play havoc with numbering in chapter headings. Here's how to get around that potential problem.
Using TC Fields for Notes
The TC field is normally used in constructing manual Tables of Contents. The way the field works, however, makes it a natural for pulling together a handy "to do list" for a document.
Using the GotoButton Field
Need to jump from one place in your document to another? One way to do this is through the user of the GotoButton field, described in this tip.
Using the INFO Field
The INFO field allows you to include all sorts of information in your document. Here's a quick overview of the field and what it can do for you.
Using the SYMBOL Field
The most common way of adding symbols to a document is to use the Symbol dialog box. There is another way, however, that can be really helpful for some situations. This tip describes using a field to insert characters in a document.
Word and Character Count Information
Using fields you can easily insert both the word and character counts for a document into the document itself. As those counts change (during editing), Word automatically updates what the fields display. Hereís how to put them to work.