Changing a Field Parameter

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated March 25, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


Yvonne has a document that contains about 100 SEQ fields, which she uses to number certain items. She needs to change the name used in the field code as the sequence identifier. She wonders if there is an easy way to do this without the necessity of changing each field individually.

You can actually do this using the Find and Replace capabilities of Word. The key, though, is to display the field codes (instead of their results) before you use Find and Replace. Let's say, for instance, that your SEQ fields use the sequence identifier "Blue" and you want to change this sequence identifier to "Red." Press Alt+F9 (which displays all the field codes in the document) and take a look at one of the SEQ fields. It should look something like this:

{ SEQ Blue }

There may be other switches included in the field code, but they would appear just before the closing brace for the code. With the field codes displayed, you can use Find and Replace to search for " SEQ Blue ", without the quote marks. (I've included quote marks here so you can see that you should search for a leading and trailing space. This helps ensure that you are finding exactly what you should.) You would then replace this with " SEQ Red ", again without the quote marks.

As you do the Find and Replace operation, you can either replace everything (which will change all occurrences of "Blue" to "Red" in the sequence identifiers) or you can be selective in your replacing, so that you "split" the original Blue sequence so that some of them become Red; it is up to you.

When you are doing using Find and Replace, again press Alt+F9 to hide the field codes and again display their results. Then select the entire document (Ctrl+A) and press F9 to update all the fields. This gives you the final results of your changes to the SEQ fields.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11248) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021.

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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