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

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 19, 2019)

3

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Hyphenating Your Document

One of the final touches you can add to a document is to hyphenate it. This allows text to flow more smoothly from line ...

Discover More

Moving Section Breaks

Section breaks are used to divide a document into two or more sections that can be independently formatting. If you want ...

Discover More

Automatic Page Numbers across Multiple Documents

Word allows you to specify the starting page number for a document, which comes in handy if you have multiple documents ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Setting the Distance between Text and Borders

Add a border around a piece of text (such as a paragraph), and Word makes some assumptions about the placement of that ...

Discover More

Creating a Full-Page Border

Borders are easy to add around text or entire paragraphs. It may be surprising to you to learn that Word can just as ...

Discover More

Aligning Borders with the Page Margins

Add a border to a paragraph and you may find that it extends to the left and right of the regular text margins. To pull ...

Discover More
Subscribe

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

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}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. 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 seven less than 7?

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!
(-:


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Videos
Subscribe

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.