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)

2

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

Moving Breaks Quickly

Breaks in a document can be easily moved from one place to another using familiar editing techniques. The trick is to ...

Discover More

Footnotes within Footnotes

Need to add footnotes to your footnotes? It's actually allowed by some style guides, but Word doesn't make it so easy.

Discover More

How Word Applies Styles

Styles are a great boon for applying styles in a powerfully consistent manner. How Word applies styles, however, depends ...

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)

Calculating Form Fields

Form fields allow you to create (you guessed it) forms. Here is a description of how you can force Word to calculate the ...

Discover More

Entering a Name in the Header of a Locked Form

When you lock a document as a form, then Word limits what you can do with that document. That includes not being able to ...

Discover More

Valid Numbers in Form Fields

When you create a form you need to use special form fields. If you want to limit what users can enter in a form field, ...

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 five more than 4?

2016-02-23 15:22:03

Lori Edwards

I have a protected document with Calculated fields. I have Calculate on Exit set for all fields that the calculated field is calculating and it still will not calculate on exit of any field before or after the calculated field.


2013-04-17 10:58:07

Micha

Thanks a lot. I learned something today !

Actually to overcome this problem, I had created a macro on my template, but when passing the template to others, the macro did not get passed over for some reason.

Thanks again !


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.