How to Edit Content Control in Word: A Step-by-Step Guide

Editing content control in Word is a simple process. It allows you to modify the properties of content control elements such as drop-down lists, text boxes, and date pickers. With just a few clicks, you can tweak these elements to fit your document’s needs.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Edit Content Control in Word

Editing content control in Word is crucial when you want to customize how users interact with your document. Whether you’re creating forms or templates, these steps will help you take control of your content.

Step 1: Open your Word document

First up, you need to open the document that contains the content control you want to edit.

Opening your document is the first step in the editing process. Make sure you have the document saved on your computer or accessible through a shared network or cloud service.

Step 2: Enable the Developer tab

The Developer tab is where all the content control magic happens, so you need to make sure it’s visible on your Word ribbon.

Normally, the Developer tab is not displayed by default. To enable it, right-click on the ribbon and choose ‘Customize the Ribbon’. Then, check the box next to ‘Developer’ and click ‘OK’.

Step 3: Select the content control

Click on the content control element you wish to edit. This will highlight it and allow you to make changes.

You might need to click on the edge of the content control to select it properly. If it’s a text box, click inside the box and then click on the border that appears.

Step 4: Edit the content control properties

With the content control selected, go to the Developer tab and click on ‘Properties’. This will open a new window where you can edit various settings.

Here you can change things like the title, tag, and style of the content control. You can also set specific properties, like making a drop-down list only accept pre-defined items.

Step 5: Save your changes

Once you’re happy with the modifications, click ‘OK’ to save the changes and close the properties window.

Remember to save your document after editing content control to ensure that all changes are kept.

After completing these steps, your content control will be updated with the new properties you set. This can help streamline the user experience for whoever is filling out your document and ensure that the data entered is consistent and accurate.

Tips for Editing Content Control in Word

  • Double-check that you’re in the correct section of the document before making any changes to avoid editing the wrong content control.
  • If you’re working with a drop-down list, prepare your list items in advance to make the editing process smoother.
  • Use descriptive titles and tags for your content controls to make them easier to identify and manage.
  • Consider setting content controls to ‘Locked’ to prevent users from deleting or moving them in the document.
  • Always save a backup of your document before making significant changes to content controls, just in case something goes wrong.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I edit the placeholder text in content control?

Yes, you can edit the placeholder text by selecting the content control, going to the Developer tab, and clicking on ‘Properties’. From there, you can change the placeholder text in the designated field.

Why can’t I find the Developer tab in Word?

The Developer tab is not displayed by default in Word. You need to enable it by right-clicking on the ribbon, selecting ‘Customize the Ribbon’, and then checking the box next to ‘Developer’.

How do I make a content control read-only?

To make a content control read-only, select it, click on ‘Properties’ in the Developer tab, and check the ‘Content control cannot be deleted’ and ‘Contents cannot be edited’ options.

Can I add a date picker content control in Word?

Yes, Word allows you to add a date picker content control. You can find it under the Developer tab in the ‘Controls’ group.

Is it possible to link content control to a database?

While Word does not directly link content control to databases, you can use content controls to create forms that can be used with data management tools like Microsoft Access.


  1. Open your Word document
  2. Enable the Developer tab
  3. Select the content control
  4. Edit the content control properties
  5. Save your changes


Editing content control in Word might seem intimidating at first, but it’s actually quite straightforward once you get the hang of it. By following the steps outlined above, you can easily customize your document’s content controls to better fit your needs, whether you’re creating a form, a template, or any other type of interactive document. Remember, the key to mastering content control is practice. So, don’t be afraid to explore the different properties and settings available. And, if you ever run into trouble, the Word community is full of experts and resources ready to help. Happy editing!

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