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: Entering Calculations in a Form Field.

Entering Calculations in a Form Field

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated May 12, 2018)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


Word allows you to create all sorts of forms, and even provides form fields that you can add to your documents. These form fields—known now as legacy form fields—are how you create and design your form. Exactly how you add legacy form fields has been covered in past issues of WordTips.

You may want to define a form field to contain a calculation. For instance, you might want a particular form field to contain the sum or the product of two other fields. Let's say you have two fields in your document; one of them is named Principal and the other is named Interest. If you wanted to create another field that shows the result of the two fields when multiplied by each other, you can follow these steps:

  1. Insert the result field as you normally would. (You would use the tools on the Developer tab of the ribbon.)
  2. Right-click the form field you just entered and click on the Properties option from the resulting Context menu. Word displays the Text Form Field Options dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Text Form Field Options dialog box.

  4. Using the Type drop-down list, choose Calculation.
  5. In the Expression field of the dialog box, enter the following expression:
     =Principal * Interest
  1. In the Bookmark field of the dialog box, enter the name for this field (Result).
  2. Click on OK.

Now, whenever the form fields are updated, the Result field will contain the result of your principal multiplied by your interest.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (7838) 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: Entering Calculations in a Form 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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