Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
The mystery of content controls
Word’s fields aren’t the only gizmos you can stick into a document that contains dynamic text. Another
gizmo is the content control. It’s not really a field, though it can be inserted as though it’s a field and then
updated. The primary difference is how a content control looks, which is something like this:
Content controls are usually inserted by Word commands, such as those that automatically create
headers or footers or insert page numbers. You can also choose the Quick Parts⇒Document Property
command (found in the Insert tab’s Text group) to insert a property control. The Equation menu, found in the
Insert tab’s Symbols group, also inserts content controls.
You can edit a content control’s contents, if you like, and some controls are designed that way. But editing
the text in other controls changes the thing to plain text, so be careful.
Time-sensitive content controls can be updated by pressing the F9 key.
Some Date content controls have a pick-the-date button, displaying a tiny calendar from which you can set
the property’s date.
If you’re unsure which text in your document is a field, click the mouse on that text.
Fields are highlighted in Word with a dark gray background.
Changing a field
You cannot edit text in a field, which kind of ruins the point of the field. Instead, you can adjust the
field’s contents: Right-click the field and choose Edit Field from the pop-up menu. The Field dialog
box is redisplayed, allowing you to make whatever modifications you deem necessary.
Just as those mutants at the end of Beneath the Planet of the Apes removed their human
masks, you can remove a field’s mask by right-clicking it and choosing the Toggle Field
Codes command. For example, the FileSize field looks like this:
To restore the field to human-readable form, right-click it again and choose the Toggle Field Codes
command. All praise be to the bomb.
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