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Removing Specific Fields

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: Removing Specific Fields.

If you use fields in your documents, you may need a way to delete a specific type of field, while leaving all the other types of fields untouched. You can use the ^d special character in the Find What box when doing a Find and Replace, but the ^d is non-discriminating: It finds all fields.

There are two ways you can approach this problem. First, when using ^d, you can follow it by the field code you want to search. Thus, if you search for ^d XE you can find all the XE fields in the document, ignoring the rest.

The second way is to search using the ^19 character. This is the code for an opening field brace. Follow it by the field you want to select, as in ^19 DATE, and only those fields are found.

Regardless of whether you use ^d or ^19, you should pay attention to what immediately follows. Word is very forgiving of the number of spaces that can follow an opening field brace. It is possible for there to be no spaces after an opening brace or two, three, or more spaces. For this reason, you will want to search for both ^dXE (no spaces) and ^d^wXE (multiple spaces, with the ^w representing white space). The same goes for the second method: you can search for ^19DATE and ^19^wDATE.

When searching for specific fields, you need to make sure that the field codes are displayed in the document. If you don't display them, then Word will ignore the codes. You can display them all by pressing Alt+F9. In addition, you should make sure that hidden text is displayed.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (3825) 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: Removing Specific Fields.

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Comments for this tip:

Barry    17 Dec 2015, 18:37
I think it is ridiculous that only the inner circle of those initiated into Word 2010 can delete a insert date field.
All the places I looked for help either talk about the "Developer" function, what about the regular joe. I am FAAAR from computer illiterate, and neither am I newbie to Word or Wordprocessing but I cannot delete the "Insert Date" field. What a drag. Can you possibly help. Please note the "Restrict Editing" is turned off.

Thanks for letting me vent and if you can help I would deeply appreciate.
Allen T.    11 Mar 2015, 20:27
Oh and and I should say that I am NOT the author!
Allen    11 Mar 2015, 20:26
Exactly what I was looking for in terms of trying to delete a field. Thanks.
philomena    28 Jan 2013, 13:53
Hmmm...I tried using the ^d in the Find Replace Dialog and choosing in Headers & Footers in the Find In dropdown. Word reports back no results, when there clearly are Fields (docvariable) in the Headers & Footers. Any ideas on why this happens?

The other curiousity is when I try to use Shift F9 to toggle these fields, they don't toggle. I have to right-click on them and then choose toggle field code. Is there perhaps something that could be unique to the template my documnet is attached to that causes this (it's not attached to Normal.dotm).

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