Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. 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: Stopping Enter from being Pressed In a Form.

Stopping Enter from being Pressed In a Form

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 2, 2016)

Amy created an electronic form based on a table format so the entries are aligned. She included form fields in both text and number format, adding a maximum field length for each field. This prevents the person filling out the form from entering text beyond the maximum. However, the person can still press Enter and add blank lines to the form and cause it to be "distorted." Amy wonders how she can prevent users from pressing Enter and messing up the layout of her forms.

It is possible to disable the Enter key, but doing so disables it for the entire document, not just for the form. Also, the key would need to be disabled by using a macro. If the user disables macros by default (due to security settings or by explicitly disabling them when opening the document), then the Enter key would not be disabled. Because of these drawbacks, disabling the Enter key may not be the best way to approach this problem.

A better approach would be to modify how you set up your table; the one that contains your form fields. Follow these general steps:

  1. Unprotect your form.
  2. Select the table that contains your form fields.
  3. Right-click the selected table and choose Table Properties from the Context menu. Word displays the Table Properties dialog box.
  4. Make sure the Table tab is displayed.
  5. Click the Options button. Word displays the Table Options dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  6. Figure 1. The Table Options dialog box.

  7. Make sure the Automatically Resize to Fit Contents check box is cleared.
  8. Click OK.
  9. Display the Row tab.
  10. Make sure the Specify Height check box is selected. (See Figure 2.)
  11. Figure 2. The Row tab of the Table Properties dialog box.

  12. Just to the right of the Specify Height check box, enter the height you want the row to be.
  13. Using the Row Height Is drop-down list, choose Exactly.
  14. Click OK.
  15. Protect your form.

These steps won't stop someone from pressing Enter, but it will stop it from messing up your table format if they do press Enter. And, since the user won't be able to see what they type after pressing Enter, they'll quickly get the idea that they should not press the key.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9443) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Stopping Enter from being Pressed In a Form.

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

Leading Zeros in Page Numbers

Page numbers in Excel printouts are typically simple counters, without much chance for embellishment. If you want to add ...

Discover More

Changing Characters on Keyboard Keys

Want to assign some fancy characters to keyboard keys for characters you seldom use? There are a couple of ways you can map ...

Discover More

Updating Fields Automatically

You can place dynamic fields into many parts of your document. If your document contains a lot of fields, you might wonder ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Copying Form Field Contents

Are you developing a form with Word? In some instances it is advantageous to copy whatever is entered in a form field to ...

Discover More

Saving Form Data for a Database

Use Word to create a form, and you can easily collect standardized data from a large number of users. When it comes time to ...

Discover More

Creating Traditional Forms

Do you use Word to create printed forms? If so, here's some ideas and techniques you can use to make those forms look as good ...

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 8Mpixels. 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 5 + 0?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


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.