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

Displaying field codes in Word might sound like a complex task, but it’s actually pretty straightforward. You just need to know where to look and what buttons to click. After reading this quick overview, you’ll be able to view all the field codes in your Word document in no time.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Display Field Codes in Word

Field codes in Word are useful for a variety of reasons. They can help you automate tasks, such as inserting page numbers or dates, and they’re also essential for creating complex documents with references and citations. Here’s how to display them:

Step 1: Open your Word document

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

Opening your document is the first thing you’ll want to do. If you don’t have Word open already, go ahead and open it up, then find the document you need to work on.

Step 2: Show all field codes

Press ‘Alt + F9’ on your keyboard to toggle the display of all field codes in the document.

This keyboard shortcut is a toggle, which means that pressing it once will show the field codes, and pressing it again will hide them. If you’re on a Mac, you’ll press ‘Option + F9’ instead.

Step 3: Work with field codes

Now you can see all the field codes in your document, and you can edit them as needed.

Seeing all the field codes can be a bit overwhelming at first, but don’t worry. You only need to focus on the ones you want to work with. If you want to update or change a field code, just click on it and make your edits.

After completing these steps, all the field codes in your document will be visible. You’ll see things like { PAGE }, which automatically inserts the current page number, or { DATE }, which inserts the current date. Remember, field codes are the behind-the-scenes magic that make a lot of Word’s automatic features possible.

Tips on Displaying Field Codes in Word

  • If you’re having trouble with a field code, try updating it by right-clicking on the field and selecting ‘Update Field.’
  • Some field codes are dependent on other parts of your document, like a table of contents or index, so make sure everything is set up correctly.
  • If you’re printing a document and don’t want the field codes to be visible, make sure to toggle them off before printing.
  • Customizing field codes can be powerful, but it can also be easy to make mistakes. Always double-check your work.
  • Remember, field codes are sensitive to syntax. A small typo can cause a field code not to work correctly.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are field codes in Word?

Field codes are special placeholders that instruct Word to insert specific information into a document automatically.

Why would I need to display field codes in Word?

You might need to display field codes to troubleshoot a problem, to update information, or to understand how a particular feature works within your document.

Can I print my document with field codes displayed?

Yes, you can, but it’s generally not advisable as it can be confusing and doesn’t usually serve a purpose for the reader.

What does ‘Alt + F9’ do in Word?

‘Alt + F9’ is the keyboard shortcut that toggles the display of field codes on and off in a Word document.

Can I edit field codes in Word?

Yes, once you’ve displayed the field codes, you can click on them and make changes as needed, just like you would with regular text.

Summary of Steps

  1. Open your Word document.
  2. Press ‘Alt + F9’ to display all field codes.
  3. Make any necessary edits to the field codes.


Displaying field codes in Word may seem like an advanced feature reserved for power users, but it’s actually a handy tool for anyone who wants to take full control of their document’s functionality. Whether you’re a student putting together a thesis, a professional crafting a complex report, or just someone who loves to understand how things work under the hood, knowing how to display and manipulate field codes can be extremely beneficial.

Not only does it allow you to troubleshoot and customize features like page numbers, dates, and references, but it also gives you a deeper understanding of how Word processes and formats information. So the next time you come across a perplexing issue with your document, or you just want to customize it beyond the standard options, remember this guide on how to display field codes in Word. Dive in and embrace the power of Word’s field codes – your documents will thank you for it!

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