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: AutoFormat within Form Fields.

AutoFormat within Form Fields

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 8, 2016)

Mary was having a problem getting AutoFormat As You Type to convert "straight quotes" to "smart quotes" within the fields of protected forms.

Unfortunately, this seems to be one of the vagaries of working with Word. Quite a number of Word's features won't work in the fields of a protected form; AutoFormat As You Type is just one of them. Why the Word designers set things up this way is one of the great mysteries of the universe.

The only possible workaround would be to write some sort of OnExit macro that is triggered when the form's user moves from one form field to another. The macro could examine the contents of the form field and change any straight quotes to curly quotes. This, of course, is not an ideal workaround, since you might not want all quotes converted, which means the parsing rules can get rather complex.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1637) 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: AutoFormat within 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

Can't Merge Alphanumeric Data Correctly

When you merge data from Excel into a Word document, you may need to do some conditional processing based on the data you ...

Discover More

Can't Select Style Instances

Using the Styles and Formatting task pane, Word allows you to select all instances of a given style in your document. ...

Discover More

Understanding the If ... End If Structure

One of the most basic of programming structures is the conditional structure: If ... End If. This tip explains how this ...

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)

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

Safely Relocking Forms

In order to use a form in Word, it must be protected. This means that you cannot make any changes to the form, even if ...

Discover More

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 ...

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 9 + 7?

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.