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: Suppressing ASK Fields When Printing.

Suppressing ASK Fields When Printing

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 5, 2016)

Fields provide quite a bit of processing power for your documents, as you learned from other issues of WordTips. The ASK field is one you can use to prompt users for text which is then assigned to a bookmark. (This is great for customizing boilerplate text on the fly.) Susan had problems with the ASK field, however, because not only did users get asked for their text once, but also a second time when the document was printed.

By default, Word updates all fields just prior to printing. If you have ASK fields in your document, this means that when they are updated the user is asked for text a second time. To avoid this behavior, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Options from the Tools menu. Word displays the Options dialog box.
  2. Click on the Print tab. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Print tab of the Options dialog box.

  4. Make sure the Update Fields check box is selected.
  5. Click on OK.

Now Word won't update fields before printing. The only downside to this, however, is that other fields won't be automatically updated either. If you do have other fields in the document you may want to make sure that you update them manually prior to printing.

If manually updating fields is a bother, you may want to consider removing the ASK fields completely and instead designing a user form. Another alternative is to ask for user text under the control of a macro, and then use the macro to assign the text to bookmarks. (This is the same functionality as the ASK fields, but it only runs when you specifically want it to run.)

If such changes are not possible, you could turn on automatic updating of fields back on and instead use the following macro to print your document:

Sub CustomPrint()
    Dim afield As Field

    For Each afield In ActiveDocument.Fields
        If afield.Type = wdFieldAsk Then afield.Locked = True
    Next afield
    ActiveDocument.PrintOut
    For Each afield In ActiveDocument.Fields
        If afield.Type = wdFieldAsk Then afield.Locked = False
    Next afield
End Sub

The macro examines every field in your document, locking those that are ASK fields. The document is then printed, and the fields are again unlocked.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1531) 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: Suppressing ASK Fields When Printing.

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

Copying the Quick Access Toolbar

Customization of Word is done, largely, through what you add to or remove from the Quick Access Toolbar. When you have the ...

Discover More

Moving the Insertion Point to the End of a Line

When writing a macro to process the text in a document, you may need to move the insertion point to the end of a line. This ...

Discover More

Shrinking Cell Contents

Need to cram a bunch of text all on a single line in a cell? You can do it with one of the lesser-known settings in Excel.

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

MORE WORDTIPS (MENU)

Preventing Printing

When dealing with determined users, it is virtually impossible to prevent information in your document from being printed. ...

Discover More

Duplex by Default

Many printers these days have the capability to print on both sides of a piece of paper. You may want Word to use this ...

Discover More

Fonts Unavailable in Word

If you have some fonts that don't show up as available in Word, their exclusion can be confusing. Here's a discussion of why ...

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 for this tip:

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. 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 9 + 8?

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


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.

Links and Sharing
Share