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: Printing Index Field Codes.

Printing Index Field Codes

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 23, 2013)

Jim is creating an index for his document, which obviously involves inserting XE field codes throughout the document. He wonders if there is a way to print text that includes the XE codes on the printed pages. Even with "print field codes instead of their values" turned on, those codes, which do display on-screen, do not show when he prints a page of text. Printing them would be a quick and valuable way for Jim to proof his document for the completeness and accuracy of indexing.

The reason you cannot see the XE codes on your printouts is because they are formatted, automatically by Word, as hidden text. Take a look at the codes, as they are visible on the screen. You should see that there is a small, dotted underline under the field code. This indicates that the hidden attribute is applied.

Word allows you to control the printing and viewing of hidden text independent of each other. Thus, you can see the XE codes on the screen, but unless you enable the printing of hidden text, you won't be able to see them on a printout. Here's how to turn on the printing of hidden text:

  1. Choose Options from the Tools menu. Word displays the Options dialog box.
  2. Make sure the Print tab is displayed. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Print tab of the Options dialog box.

  4. Make sure the Hidden Text check box is selected.
  5. Click on OK.

That's it; if you now print your document with fields codes turned on, you should see the XE field codes on the printout.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (12490) 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: Printing Index 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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