Exploring Office 2007: Finding Your Way with Word 2007 Fields - Page 2

By Helen Bradley
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Viewing Field Codes

Word Options > Advanced group and locate the Show Document Content collection of options.

Field codes can be configured to have Field shading turned on always, when the field code is selected, or never, according to your preferences. The choice you make only affects the document on the screen and does not appear on any printed version.

Completing a Document

Another application for Word fields is in entering repetitive data into a document. Some legal documents and many forms require, for example, a person's name to be entered a number of times. You can do this by hand or you can have field codes do the work for you.

Start by describing the data that will be repeated. For each piece of data, such as a person's name, you will need a bookmark name for that code. So, if you want to add a person's name and their date of birth multiple times, you'll use one bookmark name for their name and one for their date of birth.

To do this, click at the top of the document and choose Insert > Quick Parts Field and from the Categories list choose Mail Merge and from the Field names list choose ASK. In the Prompt box type "What is the customer's name?".

In the Bookmark name box type custname, enable the 'Default response to prompt' checkbox and, in the box, type "Type the name here" and click OK. You'll see a small dialog appear displaying the question you just typed, do not complete it, just click Ok for now.

Repeat and add another ASK field for each piece of information. Each field must be given a different bookmark name.

Next you will add the markers where the text will go. To do this, first click in the position in the document where the first item will go and choose Insert > Quick Parts Field and from the Categories list choose Links and References and from the Field names list choose REF and click the Field Codes button.

Next to the word REF, type the bookmark name that matches the one in the ASK field for that piece of information. From the Format list choose Title Case (or the case to use if you want to format the entry), and click OK.

You will see that a prompt "Type the name here" appears in the document. Add Ref fields everywhere in the document that the data from the ASK fields should be inserted into the document. Save the document before continuing.

To test the result, open the document and press Control + A to select the entire document. Press F9 to update all fields in the document. When you do this, you will see a dialog appear asking the name of the customer &mdsah; type it and click OK.

Other dialogs will appear for every other piece of data to be inserted into the document. When you're done the document will be updated and the data inserted into position.

As you can see, Word fields are very flexible and can assist in document automation tasks.

Helen Bradley is a respected international journalist writing regularly for small business and computer publications in the USA, Canada, South Africa, UK and Australia. She blogs at http://www.projectwoman.com/blogger.html.

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This article was originally published on June 08, 2008
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