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: Updating Calculated Fields in a Form.

Updating Calculated Fields in a Form

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 18, 2015)

Word allows you to create special forms that rely on fields for the gathering of information. These forms can be protected so that text outside of the form fields cannot be modified by users. Other issues of WordTips have discussed ways in which forms can be created.

When you create a form, there are times you may need to have Word update the contents of calculated fields within the form. If you select the Update Fields check box on the Print tab of the Options dialog box, the fields are calculated automatically when a document is printed. In versions of Word prior to Word 2000, the fields are also automatically calculated when you use Print Preview. (That changed in Word 2000; a real print is needed.) But what if you don't want to print the entire document and waste paper just to see what the outcome of the calculations are?

The solution is to create a simple macro and assign the macro to a toolbar button. The following macro will do just fine:

Sub UpdateFields()
    Dim rngStory As Range
         For Each rngStory In ActiveDocument.StoryRanges
              rngStory.Fields.Update
         Next rngStory
End Sub

It is important that the macro be assigned to a toolbar button because a protected form doesn't allow access to macros through the menu.

This approach, of course, requires that the user remember to click on the button to refresh all the fields. If you prefer, you could assign the macro to the OnExit event of any form field. Thus, whenever the field was "exited," the macro would be executed. One WordTips subscriber also suggested the following macro as an OnExit macro to update fields:

Sub UpdateRefsInForm()
    Application.ScreenUpdating = False
    If ActiveWindow.View.Type = wdPageView Then
        ActiveWindow.ActivePane.View.Type = wdNormalView
    Else
        ActiveWindow.View.Type = wdPageView
    End If
    If ActiveWindow.ActivePane.View.Type = wdNormalView Then
        ActiveWindow.ActivePane.View.Type = wdPageView
    Else
        ActiveWindow.ActivePane.View.Type = wdNormalView
    End If
End Sub

This macro is rather clever, in that all it does is switch from whatever view you are in (Normal or Page view) to the other view, and then back again. This change in the view mode forces Word to update the fields.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the WordTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1445) 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: Updating Calculated Fields in a Form.

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

Opening a Workbook as Read-Only

When you need to work on a workbook, you may want to do so without modifying the original contents of the workbook. This ...

Discover More

Repaginating Your Document in a Macro

When processing a document with a macro, you may need to have the macro repaginate the text. It's easy to do using the ...

Discover More

Displaying All the Files in a Folder using Explorer

Displaying all the files a folder contains is an easy task in Windows. One easy way to do it is by using the Windows ...

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)

Inserting the Date and Time

Inserting a date and time in your document is a snap using the tools provided in Word. Just pick the command, then ...

Discover More

Using Mandatory Form Fields

When using form fields to gather information from users of your documents, you may want to make sure that some of the ...

Discover More

Maintaining Fields in a Merged Document

When merging documents, you may want to include some fields in the merged documents. For some fields this is impossible, ...

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 six more than 8?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


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.