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 Forms to Regular Documents.

Converting Forms to Regular Documents

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 7, 2014)


As you are working with forms in Word, there may be times when you want to convert the responses to your form back to regular text. (There are many times when regular text is much easier to work with than answers in forms.) To do the conversion, follow these steps:

  1. Unprotect the form. (The way you unprotect a form varies by version of Word and has been covered in other WordTips.)
  2. Select the whole document either by pressing Ctrl+A or by choosing Select All from the Edit menu.
  3. Press Ctrl+Shift+F9.

Now all the fields in the document have been changed to unlinked, regular text. You can now edit the document as you normally would.

The caveat here, of course, is that all of your fields are changed to regular text. Thus, if you had other fields in the document (such as fields for dates or sequential numbers), these are also changed to regular text by this process.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1338) 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 Forms to Regular Documents.

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. ...


Formatting Labels

Need your labels to look a certain way? You can save time by formatting them before Word actually creates the sheet of ...

Discover More

Jumping between Columns

Need to jump from one column to another on a page? You can use the handy shortcut keys described in this tip.

Discover More

Changes in Excel's Color System

The introduction of Excel 2007 included the introduction of a lot of changes to the venerable spreadsheet program. One of ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (menu)

Using Continued Lines

You can create a special header and footer page numbering scheme by using nested fields. This tip shows an example of how ...

Discover More

Getting Information About Fields

Want to know what a certain field does and how to use it? Word's online help is surprisingly helpful in getting the ...

Discover More

Conditional Calculations in Word

Word allows you to insert simple formulas, using fields, in table cells. You can also create simple conditional ...

Discover More

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

View most recent newsletter.


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 1 + 8?

2017-10-18 14:29:32


Is it possible to create a document that is fully protected from editing, but allow it to be copied and have the copy editable?
I want to create a form that others save under a different name and revise (not just fill in blanks).

2015-10-16 08:22:23

Steve DeWeese

THANK YOU!!! After trying to insert a caption, my screen greyed out with 4 hazy vertical lines. I had to reset the page layout but could not edit. I did these steps and viola - success. Thank you for saving my document.

2014-11-07 02:04:15

Alexandre Dunlop-Brière

Thank you!!

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

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.