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: Calculating Form Fields.

Calculating Form Fields

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 8, 2015)

In other WordTips you've learned how you can set up your form fields so that they perform calculations and display the results. When you print your form, Word updates the fields so that the results of the calculations are displayed in the form. What if you don't want to wait until printing in order to view the results?

Fortunately, Word provides a way you can do this. Make sure you follow these steps:

  1. Make sure the Forms toolbar is displayed.
  2. Unprotect your form so that you can change the options for each field.
  3. Select a form field used in a calculation.
  4. Click on the Form Field Options tool on the Forms toolbar. Word displays the Options dialog box for the field. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The Options dialog box for a form field.

  6. Make sure the Calculate on Exit check box is selected.
  7. Click on OK.
  8. Repeat steps 3 through 6 for each of the other fields used in your calculations.
  9. Protect the form again.

You can now use the form as normal. Whenever you press Tab to move between fields, and you leave a field used in a calculation, Word recalculates all the fields in the form. The result is that your calculated fields are always updated, as desired. In reality, not every possible field is updated in your form; see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/157463 for more information. (This Knowledge Base article is for Word 97, but is still applicable to later versions of Word.) You can rest assured that all your form fields are updated, however.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1456) 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: Calculating Form Fields.

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

Using the IRR Function

When working with finances, you often need to know the rate of return on a given investment. The most common type of ...

Discover More

Customizing Quick Access Toolbar Icons

The standard way to customize Excel is to add tools to the Quick Access Toolbar. The program provides only a limited ...

Discover More

Accepting Only Formatting Changes

When you use Track Changes in a document, Word marks everything that changes. (Makes sense, huh?) If an editor makes a lot of ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (menu)

Field Calculations in Locked Forms

When adding form fields to a document, you may want some of the fields to be automatically calculated from other fields. If ...

Discover More

Working with Form Fields

You know you want to use form fields in your document (they are essential in creating forms, after all) but you need to ...

Discover More

Understanding Forms

If you have ever created several documents that contain the same basic information with only a few minor differences, then ...

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 6 - 0?

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.