Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007 and 2010. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Locking a Field.

Locking a Field

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 18, 2015)


Many of the tips featured in WordTips rely on the use of the special fields available in Word. Many times these fields are updated, automatically, when you make changes in a document or actually print the document. There may be times when you want to make sure a field does not get updated. You can accomplish this by locking the field. Locking prevents a field from being updated; the last result is kept until you unlock the field and then update it. To lock a field, perform these steps:

  1. Select the field you want to lock.
  2. Update the field, if desired, by pressing Shift+F9.
  3. Press Ctrl+F11.

If you later want to unlock the field, follow these steps:

  1. Select the field you want to unlock.
  2. Press Ctrl+Shift+F11.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (5980) applies to Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Locking a Field.

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. ...


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What is 1 + 8?

2017-04-19 03:54:41

Peter Buxton

I have added four buttons to my Quick Access toolbar: Insert Field, Update Fields, Lock Fields and Unlock Fields. The Update Fields icon is a red exclamation mark that is greyed out when you press the Lock Fields button, giving you a visual indication of the status of that field.

2017-04-18 09:58:53


is there a way to do it with no shortcuts? I got no PC keyboard and those do not work on *****Mac****.

2015-04-02 16:56:57


Anyone know how to do this for MS Word 2011 for ***Mac***. God forbid Microsoft should explain it anywhere themselves.

2014-02-19 15:08:20


This tip was massively useful as a work-around when printing/saving a very large Word 2010 document (366 pages) to PDF - the PDF (or any other format) became a 500-word-plus document with incorrect page numbering and page orientation, and duplicated content showing as additional chapters. Locking the fields provided the solution, after not being able to find what code/issue was causing the problem.

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