Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 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: Selecting a Field.

Selecting a Field

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 17, 2018)

2

When fields are inserted in your documents, you might need to select an entire field in order to edit it. The quickest way to do this is to simply select the first character of the field. If field codes are visible, the first character is the opening left bracket. If field codes are not visible (field results are instead visible), then you simply select the first character of the result.

When you select the first character, the entire field is selected. This type of selection will work whether you are working with displayed field codes or with field results.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11140) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Selecting 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

Setting Up Custom AutoFiltering

The filtering capabilities of Excel are very helpful when you are working with large sets of data. You can create a ...

Discover More

Footnotes in Two Columns

When laying out how your printed pages will look, you might want to place your footnotes into more than one column. The ...

Discover More

Organizing the All Programs Menu

All of the programs installed on your system are visible when you choose All Programs from the Start menu. If you want to ...

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)

Inserting the Current Month

Need to add the name of the current month to your document? Word includes a field that can make the addition easy, and it ...

Discover More

Using Continued Lines

You can create a special header and footer page numbering scheme by using nested fields. This tip shows an example of how ...

Discover More

Deleting All Fields

Fields can be a great way of adding small snippets of dynamic data to your documents. However, you may want to get rid of ...

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 more than 4?

2019-09-03 12:55:01

Karen Prieto

Well go figure - I just stumbled upon a workaround:

* An entire field can be selected by placing the insertion point at the end of the field and hitting Backspace.

* From that point, adjacent fields can be selected via Shift+LeftArrow.

Practical application of this is to insert a series of page references all at once via Alt+i, n, r, select & cut the entire chain, then paste them one by one into the desired positions within the text.

Maybe this will help other readers. Insights are welcome!


2019-09-03 12:45:38

Karen Prieto

Hi Allen,

Thanks for this helpful article.

Last I checked, "select entire field" was a grandfathered option buried within Options> Advanced> Layout of modern Word versions. This item appears to be missing from [my copy of] Word 365's Options, and the default behavior selects the field's characters one-by-one just like any other word. I use/modify embedded fields liberally, and abhor using mouse selection, so this is killing me.

Searches for a solution yield no joy and I speculate that the majority of the Microsoft / Internet community is sadly ignorant of this important functionality. If you know of a secret way to force Word 365 to select entire field, I would be eternally grateful (and much less cranky) if you could please share that...

Kp


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.