What to Do When a Field Won't Update Properly


First, try to update the field manually. Click inside it and press F9. If the information doesn't update, follow these steps:

  1. Check to make sure that there really is new information available to replace the old information. For example, if a { FILESIZE } field doesn't change, make sure that the size of your file on disk has actually changed (this field's value won't change until you resave the file after adding or removing characters or other document elements).

  2. Check to make sure that the field isn't locked. In some cases, Word beeps when you try to update a locked field. If you don't have sound enabled, try unlocking the field by selecting it and pressing Ctrl+Shift+F11. If the field still won't update, press Shift+F9 to view its contents. Delete the following characters if you find them present:


If your field is contained in a text box, note that Word does not select text boxes when you select the text that surrounds them, or even if you select the entire document. To update a field code within a text box, select that text individually and press F9.

If you select text and press Shift+F9, but the field doesn't appear, it's possible that the field has been unlinked (replaced with ordinary text) or was never a field in the first place. For example, if you use Insert, Date and Time to enter the current date, but you leave the Update Automatically check box cleared, Word inserts the date in the form of text, not a field.

    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