Microsoft Word Fields

What are Microsoft Word Fields?

Microsoft Word Fields are used as placeholders for data that might change in a document and for creating form letters and labels in mail-merge documents.

Microsoft Word inserts relevant fields automatically at certain times.  For example, when a table of contents is created by using the References -> Tables of Contents command.  Use fields to automatically insert document information (such as the author or file name), to perform calculations, to create links and references to other documents or items and to perform other special tasks.

Field codes appear between curly brackets, or braces ( { } ).  To display the results of field codes, such as the results of calculations, hide the field codes (see below).

Field braces cannot be inserted by typing characters on the keyboard.  Fields are either inserted by particular commands or by pressing [CTRL]+[F9] and typing the appropriate information between the field braces.

Microsoft Word Fields Ribbon

Inserting Microsoft Word Fields

    To insert a field:

  1. Position the insertion point where the field is to be added.Microsoft Word Fields Quick Parts
  2. Choose Insert -> Quick Parts -> Field.
  3. Select a field category from the Categories list.
  4. Select a field from the Field names list.
  5. If the field requires additional instructions, do one or both of the following:

In the Field Options section, choose the required options.

Using the Field Codes button, type the instructions after the field type.

  1. Choose the OK button.

Word inserts the field and displays either the field’s code or its result (see below).

   ShortcutMicrosoft Word Fields Dialog

  1. To insert an empty field, press [CTRL]+[F9].
  2. Between the field braces ( { } ), enter the field type and any additional instructions.
  3. To update the field with information to which the field codes refer, press [F9].

Viewing Field Results or Codes

Field results look like any other text in a document, unless they are shaded.  ChooseFile ->Options -> Advanced to select field shading:


  1. Select the field.
  2. Press [SHIFT]+[F9].Show Word Field Codes

    To view the field codes of an entire document:

  1. File ->Options -> Advanced.
  2. Select Field Codes under Show.


  1. Press [ALT]+[F9].

Field Keys

To: Press:
Insert a DATE field [ALT]+[SHIFT]+[D]
Insert a PAGE field [ALT]+[SHIFT]+[P]
Insert a TIME field [ALT]+[SHIFT]+[T]
Insert a blank field [CTRL]+[F9]
Update selected fields [F9]
Switch between field codes and field results [SHIFT]+[F9]
Double-click a field [ALT]+[SHIFT]+[F9] (simulates mouse action for GOTOBUTTON and MACROBUTTON fields)
Replace a field with its last result [CTRL]+[SHIFT]+[F9]
Go to the next field [F11]
Go to the previous field [SHIFT]+[F11]
Lock a field to prevent updates [CTRL]+[F11]
Unlock a field [CTRL]+[SHIFT]+[F11]

Useful Fields


Use to insert the current system date or time.

for ease of use, Save a {DATE} field with optimum format as an autotext entry.


Use to insert the date that the document was created.

the {CreateDate} field is generally of more use in a template than the {Date} field.


Use to insert the user’s name from the User Name box of File -> Options -> General.


Use to insert a variety of information from a document’s property page (File ->Properties).


Use to prompt for user input.  Particularly useful in template forms, memos etc. in conjunction with automatic macros.

e.g.      {Fillin “Please enter your name”}

This field would display the following dialog box when updated:

Use the \d switch to include a default in a Fillin field.

Fillin fields are updated automatically when a new document is created from a template that contains them.


Use to insert the filename of the document.  This field is particularly useful in a header or footer.

Add \p for path as well as filename.


Use to insert total number of pages in document. This field is particularly useful in a header or footer.

e.g.      {PAGE} of {NUMPAGES}

    {REF bookmark}

Use Word Cross Referenceto insert the text or graphics represented by the specified bookmark.  The bookmark must be defined in the active document.  To insert bookmarked text or graphics from another document, use the INCLUDEPICTURE or INCLUDETEXT field.  The References-> Cross-reference command inserts REF fields to create cross-references.

Field Switches

Instruction Result
Text Test:    fred bloggs
\* upper FRED BLOGGS
\* lower fred bloggs
\* firstcap Fred bloggs
\* caps Fred Bloggs
Numbers Test:    1
\* ordinal 1st
\* cardtext One
\* ordtext First
\# “£0.00” £1.00
Dates Test:    1 Jan 2003
\@ “d-M-yy” 1-1-03
\@ “dd/MM/yy” 01/01/03
\@ “ddd d MMM yy” Mon 1 Jan 03
\@ “dddd d MMMM yyyy” Monday 1 January 2003

When inserting a new field with Insert -> Quick Parts -> Field, choose the Options button for a list of general and/or field specific switches.

Date and Time Default Formats

To change the default date and time format choose Insert ->Date and Time, select an available format and then choose the OK button.

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