Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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: Field Calculations in Locked Forms.

Field Calculations in Locked Forms

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 5, 2018)

2

Kathleen described a problem she had with Word not updating a calculated field in a locked form. For instance, if there are three fields (Field1, Field2, and Field3) that are summed together into another field (Total), then Kathleen could not get the Total field to calculate, even though she set the Calculate on Exit property of the Total field.

The reason the problem occurs is a misunderstanding of the way in which Word calculates form fields; it has nothing to do with the fact that the form is locked. (In fact, the form must be locked in order to fill in the form fields at all.) The problem arises because it is not the Total field that must have the Calculate on Exit property turned on, but the fields on which Total is dependent. In this instance all three contributory fields—Field1, Field2, and Field3—must have their Calculate on Exit property set. If they do, then the Total will update properly (and interactively) as expected.

As a side note, it does very little good to have the Calculate on Exit property set in the Total field. Why? Because when you set the field's Type property to Calculation, enter your formula in the Form Field Options dialog box, and then lock the form, the Total field cannot be selected. If it cannot be selected, you can't exit it (you can't exit what you can't enter), so the Calculate on Exit property is never triggered.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8178) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Field Calculations in Locked Forms.

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

Selective Formatting in Replacements

Do you need to replace text with a term or phrase that uses multiple formats? You can perform this seemingly complex task ...

Discover More

Fast AutoFill

Want to fill a long column with predictive data? It's easy to do by using AutoFill and a double-click of the mouse.

Discover More

Editing PivotTables without Underlying Data

If you ever try to edit a PivotTable and get an error that tells you that the "underlying data was not included," it can ...

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!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Word and Character Count Information

Using fields you can easily insert both the word and character counts for a document into the document itself. As those ...

Discover More

Forcing the Date to the Next Wednesday

Working with today's date in Word is easy. Trying to manipulate dates to come up with a future one can be an entirely ...

Discover More

Unwanted Page Breaks in Cross-References

You can use fields to cross-reference different text in a document. If you get unwanted results from the ...

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}] 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 2 - 0?

2019-07-25 21:11:19

Melodie K Ford

Allan - I just have to say this. You ROCK...seriously. I have been searching for this answer for days! I don't know why I didn't just come here first. You have always had the clues and tips I need to get my work done. Thankyou.


2019-06-30 18:32:31

Loredana Cornea

I have the same issue in a slightly different scenario.
I calculate Total=Quantity * Price.
Quantity is a number, checked "Fill-in enabled", checked "Calculate on exit"
Price is a number with a default, UNCHECKED "Fill-in enabled" (I don't want users to change this value), checked "Calculate on exit"
Total is a Calculation field with the following formula: =B2*C2
When I hit OK in the Total field definition, its value updates correctly, but I cannot make it update after I restrict the file as a form.
Any ideas how I can fix this issue?


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.

Newest Tips
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.