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: Copying and Pasting Field Codes.

Copying and Pasting Field Codes

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 26, 2015)

Fields codes can be quite helpful in a document. At some point, you may want to share a field code with someone. Perhaps you are preparing a training document that needs to show the codes as text, or you want to e-mail the field code to someone else.

Problem is, if you simply copy and paste the field code, it isn't the actual code that is pasted; it is the result of that field code. You can, of course, display the field code (Shift+F9), position the insertion point within the braces, carefully select all the characters except the closing brace, and then copy to the Clipboard.

This approach can get tedious in a big hurry, however. A better approach is to use a macro to display the field code and stuff the desired information into the Clipboard. The following macro does just that:

Sub StuffFieldCode()
    Dim sField As String
    Dim sTextCode As String
    Dim bSFC As Boolean
    Dim MyData As DataObject
    Dim sTemp As String
    Dim J As Integer

    Application.ScreenUpdating = False

    If Selection.Fields.Count = 1 Then
        bSFC = Selection.Fields.Item(1).ShowCodes
        Selection.Fields.Item(1).ShowCodes = True
        sField = Selection.Text
        sTextCode = ""
        For J = 1 To Len(sField)
            sTemp = Mid(sField, J, 1)
            Select Case sTemp
                Case Chr(19)
                    sTemp = "{"
                Case Chr(21)
                    sTemp = "}"
                Case vbCr
                    sTemp = ""
            End Select
            sTextCode = sTextCode & sTemp
        Next J

        Set MyData = New DataObject
        MyData.SetText sTextCode
        MyData.PutInClipboard
        
        Selection.Fields.Item(1).ShowCodes = bSFC
    End If

    Application.ScreenUpdating = True
End Sub

The macro begins by turning off the screen updating, then it checks to make sure that the selection includes only one field. (You should select the field you want before running the macro.) If it does contain a single field, then the field code for that field is displayed, assigned to a variable (sField), and then picked apart character by character. If the character being examined is the opening field brace—Chr(19)—then it is replaced with a regular opening brace. If it is a closing field brace—Chr(21)—then it is replaced with a regular closing brace. Finally, if the character is a end-of-paragraph marker (vbCr), then the character is ignored.

Finally, the PutInClipboard method is used to stuff the text version of the field code into the Clipboard. You can then use a regular paste command (Ctrl+V) to paste the field code in either a document, an e-mail, or another program.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (3844) 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: Copying and Pasting Field Codes.

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. ...

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