Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. 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

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated July 11, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


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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, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. 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 two more than 9?

2021-09-29 14:34:29

JP

F9 by itself is the shortcut for updating an unlocked field in Word 2016, not Shift+F9.


2019-02-13 11:13:38

Andrew

Einat: Look at https://word.tips.net/T001367_Locating_Locked_Fields.html


2019-02-12 03:30:55

Einat

This is great! never known this is possible.

I have 3 questions about it:
1. Is it possible to access the command from the menus? anything from the right-click menu? (I searched, bet haven't found a way).
2. Is there any indication for a locked field, other then right-clicking it and seeing that the "update" option is grayed out?
3. Is it possible to lock (and later to unlock) all fields, or all fields of a certain type (like all "table num..") or all within a selected range?

Thanks!
(-:


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