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: Removing Specific Fields.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 8, 2020)
If you use fields in your documents, you may need a way to delete a specific type of field, while leaving all the other types of fields untouched. You can use the ^d special character in the Find What box when doing a Find and Replace, but the ^d is non-discriminating: It finds all fields.
There are two ways you can approach this problem. First, when using ^d, you can follow it by the field code you want to search. Thus, if you search for ^d XE you can find all the XE fields in the document, ignoring the rest.
The second way is to search using the ^19 character. This is the code for an opening field brace. Follow it by the field you want to select, as in ^19 DATE, and only those fields are found.
Regardless of whether you use ^d or ^19, you should pay attention to what immediately follows. Word is very forgiving of the number of spaces that can follow an opening field brace. It is possible for there to be no spaces after an opening brace or two, three, or more spaces. For this reason, you will want to search for both ^dXE (no spaces) and ^d^wXE (multiple spaces, with the ^w representing white space). The same goes for the second method: you can search for ^19DATE and ^19^wDATE.
When searching for specific fields, you need to make sure that the field codes are displayed in the document. If you don't display them, then Word will ignore the codes. You can display them all by pressing Alt+F9. In addition, you should make sure that hidden text is displayed.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13145) 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: Removing Specific Fields.
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