Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. 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: Converting Field Results to Text.

Converting Field Results to Text

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated September 2, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


1

Special fields have a great number of uses in Word. You already know that you can use fields to insert everything from the date and time to summary information for a document. There may be times, however, when you don't want to use a field for information.

As an example, let's say that you have a template that includes a field for today's date in it. When you create a document based on the template, today's date appears in the document. You make changes to the document, and then save it to disk. When you later open the document, instead of the original date, it contains the date of when you opened the file.

To get around this, you need to change the field contents to plain text before you save the file. In this instance, you would follow these steps:

  1. Create your new document based on the template. Today's date should appear, as normal.
  2. Select the date in the document.
  3. Press Ctrl+Shift+F9. This converts the field to actual text. Thus, the date is switched from a field to real text for the date.
  4. Make any other changes necessary in the document.
  5. Save the document as normal.

That's it. The next time you open the document, the date remains unchanged. You can also use this technique with any other field to convert it to text.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (12248) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Converting Field Results to Text.

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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What is four more than 4?

2024-03-27 15:22:21

Conor

Are you aware of any way to set up a field so that it automatically converts the value/result to normal text (removes the field, leaves the value/result) after the field is executed (similar to the way a content control can be set to disappear after first use)?

This shortcut tip was very helpful for me, as the template dev, but I can't expect my entire organization to learn this shortcut and do it every time - at that point, the usefulness of the field would be diminished. I'm also in a position where I cannot use VBA or macro-enabled templates, unless there is a way to generate normal (macro-free) .docx files when launched from a macro-enabled template (I'm not sure if this is possible). Essentially, I need all of my template enhancements to vanish without a trace (at least on the front end), so a novice user can still use/edit the file without issue.

Appreciate any insight you have!


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