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: Updating Calculated Fields in a Form.

Updating Calculated Fields in a Form

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 21, 2017)

Word allows you to create special forms that rely on fields for the gathering of information. These forms can be protected so that text outside of the form fields cannot be modified by users. Other issues of WordTips have discussed ways in which forms can be created.

When you create a form, there are times you may need to have Word update the contents of calculated fields within the form. If you select the Update Fields Before Printing check box in the Display options of the Word Options dialog box, the fields are calculated automatically when a document is printed. But what if you don't want to print the entire document and waste paper just to see what the outcome of the calculations are?

The solution is to create a simple macro and assign the macro to the Quick Access toolbar. The following macro will do just fine:

Sub UpdateFields()
    Dim rngStory As Range
         For Each rngStory In ActiveDocument.StoryRanges
              rngStory.Fields.Update
         Next rngStory
End Sub

It is important that the macro be added to the Quick Access toolbar because a protected form doesn't allow access to macros in other ways.

This approach, of course, requires that the user remember to click on the button to refresh all the fields. If you prefer, you could assign the macro to the OnExit event of any form field. Thus, whenever the field was "exited," the macro would be executed. One WordTips subscriber also suggested the following macro as an OnExit macro to update fields:

Sub UpdateRefsInForm()
    Application.ScreenUpdating = False
    If ActiveWindow.View.Type = wdPrintView Then
        ActiveWindow.ActivePane.View.Type = wdNormalView
    Else
        ActiveWindow.View.Type = wdPrintView
    End If
    If ActiveWindow.ActivePane.View.Type = wdNormalView Then
        ActiveWindow.ActivePane.View.Type = wdPrintView
    Else
        ActiveWindow.ActivePane.View.Type = wdNormalView
    End If
End Sub

This macro is rather clever, in that all it does is switch from whatever view you are in (Draft/Normal or Print Layout view) to the other view, and then back again. This change in the view mode forces Word to update the fields.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the WordTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9628) 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: Updating Calculated Fields 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

Setting Fraction Bar Thickness in the Equation Editor

The Equation Editor is a great tool for easily creating fancy-looking equations in your document. You can even control ...

Discover More

Creating Selections

Want a really easy way to create a selection of a group of cells? Discover how to use the Extend key to make this task ...

Discover More

Beginning a Mail Merge

Performing a mail merge can be intimidating to some people. It needn't be; Word provides a handy step-by-step wizard that ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Using the GotoButton Field

Need to jump from one place in your document to another? One way to do this is through the user of the GotoButton field, ...

Discover More

Counting Fields in a Document

Need to count the number of times a particular field appears in a document? It's easy to do when you apply the techniques ...

Discover More

Showing a Dynamic Number Range in a Header

If you are creating a reference document of some type, you may want to include in the header of that document an ...

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 seven minus 6?

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.