Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007 and 2010. 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 in Footer Won't Update.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 23, 2021)
Christina has a version number that is on the title page of her document, and she updates it manually. She uses a field in the footer of the document to reference this version number. When she updates the version number on the title page, it doesn't update on the footer, even if she presses Ctrl+A and then presses F9. Christina wonders why the field isn't updating.
The reason that this doesn't work is because Word utilizes the concept of "layers" or "stories" in putting a document together. Your main document text is on one layer and other elements are on different layers, such as the graphics layer or the header/footer layer. When you are in the main document an you press Ctrl+A, you are selecting all the text in the main document layer, and the subsequent action (pressing F9) affects only what you've selected. If you want to affect the fields in the header or footer, you need to place the insertion point within the header or footer and then use Ctrl+A.
There are easier ways, however. One easy way is to use a macro to update all fields, regardless of where they are located. How you do this has been covered in other issues of WordTips, but here is a rather simple macro that will do the updating:
Sub UpdateAllFields1() Dim doc As Document Dim sRange As Range Dim sField As Field Set doc = ActiveDocument For Each sRange In doc.StoryRanges For Each sField In sRange.Fields a sField.Update a Next sField a Next sRange End Sub
The macro steps through all of the defined story ranges (layers) in the document and then steps through each field in each of those ranges. The result is that all the fields end up getting updated.
Another simple, effective way to do it is shown here:
Sub UpdateAllFields2() ActiveDocument.PrintPreview ActiveDocument.ClosePrintPreview End Sub
Note that this macro only displays Print Preview for the current document and then closes Print Preview. This results in the fields in the document being updated—regardless of location—because Word automatically updates fields whenever you print or use Print Preview.
Another approach is to change how you are using your fields. If the field is not updating, then you are probably using a REF field in the footer to reference the bookmarked version number on the title page. Instead, delete the bookmark and apply a unique style to the version number. (The style should be used only for the version number.) You can then use a STYLEREF field in the footer, and your version number is duplicated there. The benefit of this approach is that STYLEREF fields are, for some strange reason, updated dynamically whenever the source information (your version number) changes.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (12247) applies to Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Field in Footer Won't Update.
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!
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