Text Form Fields in Word 2007

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 30, 2013)

Ted has a document that contains text form fields. He can specify a default value for these form fields. In previous versions of Word, when the text field was clicked on by a user, the default value would disappear. In Word 2007 the default value does not disappear. Ted wonders how he can make text form fields in Word 2007 behave as they did in previous versions of Word.

We did some testing and found that something else has to be at work in Ted's description of the behavior of his text form fields. If you tab into a form field, the entire content (such as the default value specified for the field) is selected and typing anything will replace the selection. However, if you click in a text form field then this behavior does happen; Word simply puts the insertion point at the place you clicked and you can edit the text in the field.

The description of this behavior is not unique to Word 2007; the fields behave the same way in previous versions of Word, as well. If the documents containing the forms were created in a version of Word prior to Word 2007, then behavior of those forms should be the exact same in Word 2007 as it was previously. Of course, it is possible that the behavior of the forms could be affected by some macros contained in Normal.dot on the older system, and those macros aren't in the Normal.dotm on the new Word 2007 system—but such a situation would take a good deal of sleuthing to figure out.

If the document containing the forms was created in Word 2007, then it is possible that the forms aren't using text fields at all. Instead, they could be using some of the new content controls introduced in Word 2007. These can behave differently than the traditional fields used in Word forms, especially if the controls are linked to document properties.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (3868) applies to Microsoft Word 2007.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


Deleting Words

Tired of pressing the Delete or Backspace key for every character you want to delete? Here's a way you can make your editing ...

Discover More

Preserving Style Formatting when Combining Documents

Insert one document into another and you may not get the results you expect. Here's why, along with what you can do about it.

Discover More

Creating One-time Labels

Need to create a set of labels for a specific purpose? The easiest way is to let Word create a set of blank labels and then ...

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!


Creating Traditional Forms

Do you use Word to create printed forms? If so, here's some ideas and techniques you can use to make those forms look as good ...

Discover More

Saving Form Data for a Database

Use Word to create a form, and you can easily collect standardized data from a large number of users. When it comes time to ...

Discover More

Safely Relocking Forms

In order to use a form in Word, it must be protected. This means that you cannot make any changes to the form, even if you ...

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments for this tip:

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 8 - 1?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)

Newest Tips

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.

Links and Sharing