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: Field Calculations in Locked Forms.

Field Calculations in Locked Forms

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 25, 2015)

Kathleen described a problem she had with Word not updating a calculated field in a locked form. For instance, if there are three fields (Field1, Field2, and Field3) that are summed together into another field (Total), then Kathleen could not get the Total field to calculate, even though she set the Calculate on Exit property of the Total field.

The reason the problem occurs is a misunderstanding of the way in which Word calculates form fields; it has nothing to do with the fact that the form is locked. (In fact, the form must be locked in order to fill in the form fields at all.) The problem arises because it is not the Total field that must have the Calculate on Exit property turned on, but the fields on which Total is dependent. In this instance all three contributory fields—Field1, Field2, and Field3—must have their Calculate on Exit property set. If they do, then the Total will update properly (and interactively) as expected.

As a side note, it does very little good to have the Calculate on Exit property set in the Total field. Why? Because when you set the field's Type property to Calculation, enter your formula in the Form Field Options dialog box, and then lock the form, the Total field cannot be selected. If it cannot be selected, you can't exit it (you can't exit what you can't enter), so the Calculate on Exit property is never triggered.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1542) 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: Field Calculations in Locked Forms.

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 Highlighter

Need to draw attention to some text? Consider using the Highlight tool, which functions just like the highlighter pens you ...

Discover More

Displaying Fields

Fields (sometimes called field codes) allow you to insert dynamic information in your documents. If you want to see the codes ...

Discover More

Understanding Monospace Fonts

Monospace fonts allow you to easily achieve a specific "look" with your text or to line up information in a certain way. This ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

MORE WORDTIPS (MENU)

Stopping Enter from being Pressed In a Form

If you create a form using Word, chances are good that you don't want a user to mess up the layout of the form by pressing ...

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

Entering Many Items In a Drop-Down Form Field

One of the controls you can add to a Word form is a drop-down form field. This field is similar to drop-down lists used in ...

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:

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.

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