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Converting Field Results to Text

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Converting Field Results to Text.

Special fields have a great number of uses in Word. You already know that you can use fields to insert everything from the date and time to summary information for a document. There may be times, however, when you don't want to use a field for information.

As an example, let's say that you have a template that includes a field for today's date in it. When you create a document based on the template, today's date appears in the document. You make changes to the document, and then save it to disk. When you later open the document, instead of the original date, it contains the date of when you opened the file.

To get around this, you need to change the field contents to plain text before you save the file. In this instance, you would follow these steps:

  1. Create your new document based on the template. Today's date should appear, as normal.
  2. Select the date in the document.
  3. Press Ctrl+Shift+F9. This converts the field to actual text. Thus, the date is switched from a field to real text for the date.
  4. Make any other changes necessary in the document.
  5. Save the document as normal.

That's it. The next time you open the document, the date remains unchanged. You can also use this technique with any other field to convert it to text.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1035) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Converting Field Results to Text.

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Comments for this tip:

Stephanie    20 Sep 2016, 13:32
THANK YOU! I could not for the life of me get my Table of Contents to display as plain text - in a document not originally created by me. It was displaying errors every time printed or saved as pdf. Thanks to your tip, it is now plain text and displaying correctly! Much appreciated!
allen@sharonparq.com    30 Jul 2016, 19:32
Thanks, Cindy!

-Allen
Cindy Pepper    30 Jul 2016, 16:50
Hello Allen

I was searching today on how to make a field into plain text and your site came up. Your site has come up a number of times in my searches for other stuff.

I just want you to know that it makes my day when you have something to say about anything. You're a good writer and a fantastic teacher.

We are all very lucky that you're on the net.
UV    19 May 2016, 09:13
Thanks a ton!!
Steph Jones    15 Feb 2016, 07:53
Is there a way I can convert all fields to text with the exception of my table of contents and cross references? I would like these to remain so they can be updated as the document is edited, however all other fields should be converted from early on.
Aly    21 Jul 2015, 12:36
Thank you! I could not figure this out in Word to save my life. Much appreciated
Sarah    14 Jul 2015, 09:39
Super thanks!
Nicky Lee    27 May 2015, 01:58
Thank you, this has helped me a lot.
Paraic Maguire    03 Dec 2014, 06:30
Thank you!
Amy    16 Jan 2013, 15:22
I tried this, but all it does is delete the field.
 
 

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