Form Fields in Headers and Footers

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 23, 2016)

7

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.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Creating a Document Font List

If you want a list of all the fonts used in a document, the answer isn't as simple as you may think. This tip uses macros ...

Discover More

Selecting the First Cell In a Row

When creating macros, you'll often have a need to select different cells in the worksheet. Here's how to select the first ...

Discover More

Word 2007 Styles and Templates (Table of Contents)

Styles are at the heart of Word's formatting power. Understanding how to use styles can greatly increase your ability to ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More WordTips (menu)

Including Headers and Footers when Selecting All

If you are creating a macro that, in the course of processing your document, needs to update all the fields in the document, ...

Discover More

Protecting Headers and Footers

If you don't want the information in a header of footer to be changed by users of your document, there are a couple of things ...

Discover More

Preventing the Left Margin of a Footer from Moving

When you print a document, does the position of the page footer seem to move left and right? This could have to do with how ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is four less than 4?

2017-03-08 15:06:35

Rain

Doesn't work.


2016-11-23 16:56:45

Tammy

This is not working for me. I am using Microsoft 2016 and when I go to lock the page it will not generate the name text.
Are there any suggestions?


2016-08-17 20:59:58

Heather

Thanks! What a timesaver for me.
Note to the others:
This works beautifully in Word 2010,

I used the LEGACY text field, not the new text field. You will not see it except in Print Preview, or when you hardcopy it.


2015-03-11 18:46:41

Ivan

Hi,

Can this method in any way work with calculate on exit in Word 2007?
It refrences the default text of the field, but after I restrict editing to filling in forms and enter the text in bookmarked field, it doesn't update the reference in header.

Thanks in advance.
Cheers


2014-12-10 21:12:51

J Adams

I was able to get the REF field to show the data in the FORMFIELD I created a bookmark for. However, it displays the default text only, ie. Enter your text here.

When I enter the text into the field, the reference in the header does not update.


2014-11-24 15:20:26

Kelly

This did not work for me either in Word 2010. I am trying to get a field in the footer of a letter, so I can have the field in the same place whether a letter is 1 or 2 pages.


2014-08-08 13:39:31

Greg Johnson

For word 2010 this doesn't work. Did you try it before posting this? REF do not appear to work in headers.


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.