How to Toggle Field Codes in Word: A Step-by-Step Guide

Toggling field codes in Word might sound like a task for tech wizards, but it’s actually pretty simple. All you need is a few clicks, and you’re there! In a nutshell, field codes in Word are those little bits of code that create dynamic content like page numbers, dates, or references. If you want to see the behind-the-scenes of your document, you’ll want to toggle these codes on and off.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Toggle Field Codes in Word

Before we dive into the steps, let’s understand what we’ll achieve here. Toggling field codes will allow you to see the actual codes that instruct Word on how to display certain information. It’s great for troubleshooting and understanding how your document is set up.

Step 1: Open your Word document

Open the Word document where you want to toggle the field codes.

Having your document open might seem like an obvious step, but it’s where all the magic begins. Make sure you’re working on the right document, as toggling the codes on the wrong one can cause a bit of confusion.

Step 2: Reveal Field Codes

Press Alt + F9 on your keyboard.

This is the shortcut that makes everything happen. Pressing these keys simultaneously acts like a light switch, illuminating the field codes that are usually hidden in your document.

Step 3: Toggle Field Codes

You will now see the field codes in your document. Press Alt + F9 again to hide them.

When the field codes are revealed, you might see something like { PAGE * MERGEFORMAT }. Don’t worry, that’s just Word’s way of saying "this is a page number". Pressing the shortcut again will bring you back to the normal view.

After completing these steps, your Word document will either display the field codes or hide them, depending on what you need. It’s like having x-ray vision for your document!

Tips for Toggling Field Codes in Word

  • Remember, Alt + F9 is your friend! It’s the quick and easy shortcut to toggle field codes.
  • If you’re troubleshooting, seeing the field codes can help you understand why something isn’t displaying correctly.
  • Be careful when editing field codes, as changes can affect how content appears in your document.
  • Toggling field codes is a toggle – it’s either on or off, there’s no in-between.
  • Don’t worry about messing up your document; toggling field codes doesn’t change the content, just how it’s displayed.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are field codes in Word?

Field codes in Word are like little instructions that tell Word to insert certain dynamic content like page numbers, dates, or references.

Can I edit field codes in Word?

Yes, you can edit field codes in Word, but be cautious as changes can affect how your content is displayed.

Will toggling field codes change my document’s content?

No, it won’t change the content, just the way it’s displayed on the screen.

Is there another way to toggle field codes without using the keyboard shortcut?

Yes, you can go to Word Options > Advanced and under "Show document content," check or uncheck "Show field codes instead of their values."

Can I toggle field codes in specific parts of my document?

Yes, you can select a specific section and then use the Alt + F9 shortcut to toggle the field codes just for that section.


  1. Open your Word document.
  2. Press Alt + F9 to reveal field codes.
  3. Press Alt + F9 again to hide field codes.


Mastering how to toggle field codes in Word can elevate your editing and document management skills to a whole new level. It’s like having a secret key to unlock the hidden mechanics of your Word documents, giving you control and insight into the automatic functions that make your life easier. Whether you’re a student, a professional, or just someone who likes to have command over their digital creations, knowing this simple hack can save you time and a headache or two. So, the next time you’re faced with a field code dilemma, just remember the magic shortcut Alt + F9, and you’ll be good to go. Keep practicing, and soon toggling field codes in Word will be second nature to you!

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