What are filed codes in Word? - Photo by leonie wise on UnsplashMicrosoft Word holds many “field codes” to enable you to automate some of your documents. You may well be using some of them on a daily basis already but do not know what they are called. So here is a tip explaining some of the codes you may need to use in your work.

What is a field code?

One of the field codes you may be familiar with is the date appearing in your document. This may be because you are using a template with a date field code in it. This date could be the date you created the document or the date you printed the document. Other field codes also do a calculation of sorts to show the results you need. It is a way to add content to your document automatically.

Here is a list of just a few.

  • Creation date
  • Print date
  • Author
  • File name
  • File size
  • Page number

For example, if you create a mail merge document, you may need the [Print Date], to make sure the receiver of the letter sees the date you printed the letter to sent it to them not the date you created the letter which could have been a week or so earlier.

How to find Field codes?

  • Select [Insert] from the tabs
  • From the Text section to the right-hand side of the ribbon select [Quick Parts] tool Quick Parts Tool
  • From the list that appears when you select Quick Parts. Select the third one down [Field…] Field

This dialog box appears. List of field codes

  • To insert the date that the document was created select [CreateDate] from the list

You are presented with this. CreateData Code

From this image, you can see that you have a few choices of format to the date and three field options to the right. Preserving the formatting during updates is a default and I would recommend keeping that on. Especially if you use a code that will be used in a linked document with different formatting.

List by Subject

To make your life a little easier you can look through the list in subject sections.

The default is set to [(all)] in the categories at the top left.

  • Select that and a list appears. Field Categories
  • Select Date and Time and you are presented with this. Date Formats

You may find another field code that fits your personal needs as you create your documents.

What does a field code look like when you need to find it easily in your document?

You may use a few field codes in your document. To find them easily select the whole document.

  • Use CTRL+A for select all.

This highlights the whole document and shows you a darker grey background for a field code. Highlighted code

Alternatively you might highlight the documents and press the [Alt and F9] keys to reveal the actual code that looks like this. Code revealed

If you right-mouse click on the code you can edit or update the field. Edit or update code

Locking a code

Should you be using a date or time code that will update every time you open the document to the time Now! You may like to lock the code from doing so.

  • Select the code
  • Press [CTRL+F11]

Voila! the code will not update until you unlock the code using


Updating a field code

  • To update a field code use the [F9 key]

Have fun with codes.

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