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Form Fields in Headers and Footers

Steve uses form fields to allow the entry of standard information in some of his document templates. When he creates a document based on the template, the form fields indicate what needs to be entered, thereby making it easier for users to create the documents in the format necessary.

Some of the information that Steve needs entered must appear in the header of the document. The problem is that Word doesn't allow form fields (or any form controls) to be placed in headers, footers, footnotes, endnotes, and a few other places.

One possible workaround for this problem is to place the form fields in the main body of the document and then reference those form fields using regular fields. For instance, if you take a look at the Options dialog box for a text form field, you'll notice that you can set a bookmark name for the form field. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Text Form Field Options dialog box.

If you set a name in this field, you can then use the REF field in a header to reference the value of the form field. With the insertion point in the header, follow these steps:

  1. Press Ctrl+F9 to enter a pair of field braces. The insertion point should be within the field braces.
  2. Type REF, a space, and then the name of the bookmark you specified in the Options dialog box for the form field.
  3. Press F9 to collapse the REF field and replace it with the value of the form field.

If your data substitution needs are more complex, you might consider a third-party add-on for Word, such as DataPrompter. This program, written by Word MVP Bill Coan, is capable of automating many of your Word needs. Information is here:

http://www.wordsite.com/products/dpdas.htm

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (202) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

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