Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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: Printing Index Field Codes.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 17, 2017)
Jim is creating an index for his document, which obviously involves inserting XE field codes throughout the document. He wonders if there is a way to print text that includes the XE codes on the printed pages. Even with "print field codes instead of their values" turned on, those codes, which do display on-screen, do not show when he prints a page of text. Printing them would be a quick and valuable way for Jim to proof his document for the completeness and accuracy of indexing.
The reason you cannot see the XE codes on your printouts is because they are formatted, automatically by Word, as hidden text. Take a look at the codes, as they are visible on the screen. You should see that there is a small, dotted underline under the field code. This indicates that the hidden attribute is applied.
Word allows you to control the printing and viewing of hidden text independent of each other. Thus, you can see the XE codes on the screen, but unless you enable the printing of hidden text, you won't be able to see them on a printout. Here's how to turn on the printing of hidden text:
Figure 1. The Display tab of the Word Options dialog box.
That's it; if you now print your document with fields codes turned on, you should see the XE field codes on the printout.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (12491) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Printing Index Field Codes.
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