Finding and Replacing Field Contents

Whenever the contents of field codes are displayed (as opposed to field results), you can use Edit, Replace to change those contents. This is invaluable if you ever need to change many field codes at once.

For instance, imagine that your document contains several { USERINITIALS } field codes, each designed to insert the user's initials in the document. Your department has grown; some people now share the same initials. You might decide to replace these fields with { USERNAME } fields that display the user's full name instead.

To display all field codes in your document, press Ctrl+A to select the whole document. Then, press Shift+F9 to display field codes. Now you can choose Edit, Replace to specify the changes you want to make.

Word's Replace feature is also ideal if you want to change the formatting of a specific kind of field that recurs throughout your document. For example, if your field is full of date fields and you want those date fields to also display the time, you could replace


with one of Word's built-in date/time display options:

M/d/yy h:mm am/pm

Then, when you update your fields, all references to dates will also show times.


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 Find/Replace tools skip them. To show these hidden fields (and other hidden text in your document), choose Tools, Options; click the View tab; and check the Hidden Text button in the Formatting Marks area.

    Part I: Word Basics: Get Productive Fast
    Part II: Building Slicker Documents Faster
    Part III: The Visual Word: Making Documents Look Great
    Part IV: Industrial-Strength Document Production Techniques
    Part VI: The Corporate Word