How to Show Field Codes Instead of Values in Microsoft Word

To show field codes instead of values in Word, you’ll need to toggle the display setting. This task is pretty straightforward – just a few clicks, and you’ll be able to see the codes behind the magic in your document.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Show Field Codes Instead of Values in Word

Before we jump into the steps, it’s important to understand what we’re doing here. Field codes in Word are like hidden instructions that tell Word to insert information or perform a task. Showing these codes can be helpful for troubleshooting or for advanced document editing. Let’s get started.

Step 1: Open Your Word Document

Open the Word document in which you want to show the field codes.

Opening your document is always the first step. Make sure to save any changes before you proceed with the next steps, just in case something goes awry.

Step 2: Toggle Field Codes

Press "Alt + F9" on your keyboard to toggle between field codes and their values.

This keyboard shortcut is the quickest way to switch back and forth between codes and values. You’ll know it worked when you see curly brackets with code inside where there used to be values.

Step 3: Repeat to Toggle Back

Press "Alt + F9" again to toggle back to viewing the field values.

If you want to switch back to seeing the normal values, just repeat step 2. It’s that simple!

After you complete the action, all the field codes in your document will be visible. This can look a bit strange at first, but don’t worry, your document’s formatting hasn’t changed; you’re just seeing the behind-the-scenes view.

Tips for Showing Field Codes Instead of Values in Word

  • Make sure to save your document before toggling the field codes, just in case.
  • If you’re collaborating with others, let them know you’ve toggled the field codes, so they’re not confused by the sudden change.
  • Use the "Alt + F9" shortcut instead of going through the menu options to save time.
  • If you only want to see a specific field code, right-click on the field and select "Toggle Field Codes."
  • Familiarize yourself with common field codes to make editing and troubleshooting easier.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I show field codes for only a portion of the document?

Yes, you can. Simply select the portion of the text where you want to show the field codes, right-click, and choose "Toggle Field Codes."

Will toggling field codes affect how my document prints?

No, it won’t. Field codes are for display and editing purposes; your document will print with the field values, not the codes.

What if the "Alt + F9" shortcut doesn’t work?

Check that your function keys are enabled. Sometimes, you might need to press the "Fn" key on your keyboard in conjunction with "Alt + F9."

Can I permanently show field codes in Word?

Yes, you can change the Word options to always display field codes instead of values. This setting is found in the ‘Advanced’ section of the Word Options menu.

How do I know which field codes I’m looking at?

Each field code corresponds to a specific function. You can usually tell by the text within the code, but you can also use online resources or Word’s help feature for clarification.


  1. Open your Word document.
  2. Press "Alt + F9" to toggle field codes.
  3. Repeat step 2 to toggle back to field values.


Showing field codes in Word is an excellent way to peek under the hood of your document and gain a better understanding of how it’s structured. Whether you’re troubleshooting, editing, or just curious, knowing how to toggle field codes is a valuable skill for any Word user. Remember that this feature is there to help you, and with the tips provided, you’ll be able to navigate field codes like a pro. So, go ahead and give it a try – you might be surprised by how much you learn about the inner workings of your documents. And if you ever need to revert back to the standard view, it’s just another "Alt + F9" away. Happy editing, and may your field codes always lead you to successful document mastery!

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