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: Using Mandatory Form Fields.

Using Mandatory Form Fields

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 26, 2018)

2

Julia asked if there is a way, when designing forms in Word, to make a particular form field mandatory. In other words, making sure that the user must fill something in the field.

There is no setting that you can use to mark a field as mandatory, as you can in Access. But there are several ways to provide the same functionality. Perhaps the easiest method is to simply make sure that you set the appropriate "on exit" setting for the form field to run a macro. (Right-click on the field, choose Properties, and use the Exit drop-down list to select a macro to run.) The macro could check to make sure the value provided within the field is within acceptable bounds. If not, then the macro could move the insertion point back to the field to request input, or could prompt the user for the necessary information. The following is an example of a simple macro to do just this:

Sub MustFillIn()
    If ActiveDocument.FormFields("Text1").Result = "" Then
        Do
            sInFld = InputBox("This field must be filled in, fill in below.")
        Loop While sInFld = ""
        ActiveDocument.FormFields("Text1").Result = sInFld
    End If
End Sub

In this macro you would need to change the name of the field specified (Text1) to the name of the field you are using the macro with. This particular example checks to make sure that the user enters something—anything—in the field. Your macro, of course, could get much more specific in the checking it does.

For a more comprehensive approach, you could have the on-exit macros (if there is more than one mandatory field) set a system variable. When the user tries to save or close the form, the AutoExit macro could check the value of the variable, and if it shows there are mandatory fields not filled in, then a dialog box explaining the problem could be displayed.

All of these approaches, of course, will require extensive testing before implementing. You will need to decide the best course of action based on your needs, the data involved, and the type of users you have.

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 (1567) 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: Using Mandatory 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

Suppressing a Zero in a Calculated Sum

You can use fields to calculate a sum of values in a table column. Here are two ways you can modify what is displayed by ...

Discover More

Counting Odds and Evens

If you have a series of values in a range of cells, you may wonder how many of those values are even and how many are ...

Discover More

Enforcing a Do-Not-Use Word List

Got a list of words you don't want to appear in your documents? There are a number of ways that you can make sure they ...

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)

A Quick-and-Dirty Word Count

Word provides a tool that counts the number of words in a document. Here's an alternative method of calculating the ...

Discover More

Inserting the Date Your Document was Last Saved

Word keeps track of the date each time you save your document. If you want to insert that "save date" in your document, ...

Discover More

Inserting the Total Number of Characters in Your Document

One of the things that Word keeps track of regarding your document is the number of characters it contains. Using the ...

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 + 1?

2016-01-08 00:35:55

Brian

Thanks for taking my question.
I incorporated your tip for mandatory form fields into a Word2003 Form. The form field was designed to capture a telephone number. The form field was formatted as a number and assigned a mask (###) ###-#### and a maximum length of 14.
The form field functioned properly when a value was typed directly into the field.
But if the field was left blank, and the input box generated, and a phone number value entered in the input box, the phone number form field would not expand and the phone number value was truncated.
Do I need to include code in the macro to create the mask and resize the form field?


2015-12-15 13:52:42

Linda Sinclair

Could you please give me an example of setting the variables if I want more than one mustfillin form field? I have tried everything but it is not working. Thanks - You are a very helpful person!


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.