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: Controlling Field Shading.

Controlling Field Shading

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated September 21, 2019)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


Normally, when you either select a field or move the insertion point into a field, Word highlights the entire field or result of the field. This is done so you can tell you are working in a field. Sometimes you may find this distracting, however. If you want to change the way that Word handles field shading, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Options from the Tools menu. Word displays the Options dialog box.
  2. Make sure the View tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The View tab of the Options dialog box.

  4. Using the Field Shading drop-down list, specify how you want Word to handle field shading.
  5. Click on OK.

There are three options you can specify in step 3. The default is When Selected, which simply means that the field is shaded when it is selected or you place the insertion point within the field. If you set the option to Never, then fields are never shaded, and (conversely) Always specifies that they are always shaded.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (554) 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: Controlling Field Shading.

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. ...

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