A field is a set of instructions that you can place in a document to produce some specific text and place that text inside a field.
Fields can also be used to mark text, such as index entries which you want Word to keep track of.
You can also use fields to run macros
There are several different types of fields that can be inserted into a document.

What can they be used for ?

They can be used to number figures and tables consecutively throughout a document.
Insert a date or time that will be updated automatically

Word disguises many of its field codes behind dialog boxes such as a table of contents.
Although it is worth becoming familiar with the underlying field codes.

Result Fields

These give details about what text to insert into a document (eg ??)
Fields that specify instructions that Word can use to determine which text to insert in your document
The information they generate is often referred to as field results.
The field instruction is stored in your document and not the field result which means the field result can be updated automatically.
Examples of result fields include information stored in the Properties or Statistics dialog boxes.

Marker Fields

These allow Word to mark items of text that can be tracked later (eg TOC)
These fields simply mark the text so that you (or even another field) can track it at a later date.
For example the TC field can be used to mark all the entries you want to use in a table of contents.

Action Fields

These can be used to perform a specific action (eg MACROBUTTON))
An action field tell Word to perform a specific action. This does not insert any visible text into the document.
The MACROBUTTON field inserts a button that when pressed can run a macro.

Every field contains a name
Most fields can also include additional switches to modify the behaviour
Some fields can also include additional text otherwise referred to as arguments
Field arguments are always enclosed on quotation marks
Arguments can be text, numbers or graphics.


Date and Time - These are used for entering and saving dates and times.
Document Automation - These are used for comparing documents, printing and running macros.
Document Information - These are used for entering information automatically into your document.
Equations and Formulas - These are used to add formulas, enter offset amounts and insert equations.
Indexes and Tables - These are used to enter index and table of contents entries.
Links and References - These are used to insert text phrases, links and pictures.
Mail Merge - These are used for inserting mail merge fields including database records and prompts.
Numbering - These are used to insert automatic numbering of pages and sections, bar codes and list items.
User Information - These are used to user user information including name, initials and address.
Other - These are fields that are not classified into a specific category.


(General tab, Update automatic links at open - Automatically prompts to update any external database fields.
(Print tab, Update Fields) - Updates all the fields (inc. those in headers and footers) automatically before a document is printed.
(Print tab, Field codes) - Prints field codes instead of field results.
(View tab, Bookmarks) - Displays bookmarks by enclosing them in square brackets. The square brackets do not print.
(View tab, Field codes) - Displays field codes instead of field results.
(View tab, Field shading - Displays any fields with a shaded background so they can be quickly identified.

Include a qutotation mark

This can be done by prefixing the quotation mark with a backslash
{ TITLE "With \" text" }

Include a backslash

This can be done by prefixing the backslash with a backslash
{ INCLUDEPICTURE "C:\\folder\\folder\\" }

Fields that do not use any General Switches


Some Fields are not unlinked when documents are merged ????

Pressing (Alt + Shift + "D") will insert the curren Date as a field. It will appear in the format "MM/DD/YY"
(Insert > Index and Tables)("Table of contents" tab)
You can include leaders (which are dots leading up to some text) (Format > Tabs) enter the tab position and look under leaders
Word inserts all field names in capitals for clarity, but field names are not case sensitive. Word also adds extra spaces before and after the brackets
If you want to view field codes and the field results. Open a second window (Window > New Window) and check the (Tools > Options) (View tab) field codes checkbox
If you ever insert a complicated field instruction that you may want to re-use then save it as a Auto text entry
You can easily create and edit your field codes text as normal text. Press (Ctrl + F9) and just copy and paste it in. The field is not updated until you press F9
To update a single field click it and press F9, to update more than one field select the block and press F9
Updating fields using F9 does not affect the following fields {AUTONUM, AUTONUMLGL, AUTONUMOUT, EQ, GOTOBUTTON, MACROBUTTON, PRINT}
Whenever the field codes are displayed you can use Edit, Replace to change the contents
Unlinking a field prevents an action field from working, but has no effect on a marker field. If you unlink all the fields in your document you can still build an Index based on {XE} index entry fields you inserted earlier.
If you find that your total number of pages field is not updating it may be caused by background printing. Ensure that this option is unchecked (Tools > Options)(Print tab, Background printing)
A "Hot" field code is a field that does not have to be updated with the F9 key
A "Warm" field code is a field that must be updated as changes in the document are made.
Some fields such as index entries and table of contents entries, are automatically formatted as hidden text. As long as they are hidden. Word's field navigation and Fin/Replace tools skip them.
The LISTNUM is frequently used when two levels of an outline both appear on the same line, as "1.fText text. (a) text text
You can insert cross referencing fields by selecting (Insert > Cross Reference), choose reference type.


Word correctly recognises one-word arguments without the need to enlcose them in quotation marks but it is a good habit to get into.

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