How to Toggle Field Codes Off or On in Microsoft Word

A few days ago a customer contacted me with a Microsoft Word 2007 problem. Codes such as “{ HYPERLINK “mailto:testuser@test.local” }” and “{ DATE @ “MMMM d, yyyy” }” were showing up in one of their documents. This problem is due to “Field Codes” being somehow toggled on. If the problem is with a single document, toggle the field codes off or on by first selecting the entire document with (cntl+a) and then toggle the field codes off or on with (shift-F9). (Alt-F9) also toggled the field codes off and on from the machine I was using.

If the problem is with all documents, then the “Show field codes instead of their values” option has been selected under “Word Options>Advanced” in the “Show document content” section:

If the field codes are not showing up on the screen, but show up in print preview and they are printing on all documents instead of the actual data, then the “Print field codes instead of their values” option has been selected under “Word Options>Advanced” in the “Print” section:

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83 Comments

  1. Ase

    Hi, Thanks for this helpful information I was getting desperate not finding the fieldcodes. However I toggel betweeen Show and Hide the fieldcodes rather frequently and therefore I added the Show Fieldcodes symbol {a} to the quick menue at the top.
    I have a Swedish version of Word so I´m not sure what the meny options are called in the English version. But here is what you do to get the {a} symbol available with one click only:
    Right-click on the menubar. Top choice is Personalize(?) the ???toolbar? , there if you chose to see all possible otions you can find the Show Fieldcodes (??) option marked with the familiar {a} symbol in the list of all the goodies you can make available on your personal Toolbar. Add the Show Field codes to your Quickbar (?) at the very top of Word (where you by default find Save and Undo/Redo. Then you get a OneClick Toggel of the field codes.

    Reply
  2. Gurumeet Kaur Khalsa

    Can you advise how do you toggle field codes in Microsoft word 2010? I used to be able to right click over the field to edit text or toggle on and off. In 2010 it does not work? Thank you!

    Reply
  3. Wiwi

    Man, you made me happy! I am not sure how it happened, but the field codes were constantly toggled on. I searched at least a week about this problem, couldn´t find any more than “Uh, use shift F9”. You rescued my day!

    Thanx says Wiwi

    Reply
  4. Wayne Hodgkinson

    Man I needed this. After installing, then 1 hour later uninstalling EndNote X2, I was having some grief with the “Toggle codes” feature of MS Word 2010. All fixed now

    Reply
  5. Linda

    Doesn’t work for me. My XE index field codes won’t go away with any of these hints. Microsoft help says to toggle Show/Hide, but this command doesn’t appear anywhere. When I right click inside the field (which is dotted underlined, bracketed, and has the words, { XE “word” } I get no Show/Hide commmand. Nothing toggles it. Nothing makes it go away. It doens’t appear in print, but I need it out of my document without erasing them.

    Reply
  6. jamie m

    How to Toggle Field Codes Off or On in Microsoft Word

    GAWD….. fixed…….. thank you 🙂

    Reply
  7. Nueng

    Hi Mike,
    Thank you so much for this helpful information.
    After read, can fixed this problem.

    Reply
  8. Catla

    Thans a lot for the information, it really was very helpful to me.
    Good luck and have a nice day 🙂

    Reply
  9. Libby

    Great info! I thought I could resolve my issue. But, in the Show Document Content section, the “Show field codes instead of their values” is selected, but also grayed over. I cannot deselect that item. Do you have teaching to help me activate that item so I can deselect it? Thanks.

    Reply
    • Dwayne

      Libby I had the same issue. to resolve i opened a new document then clicked on
      file>options>advanced>scrolled down to show document content> then unchecked.
      this worked for me

      Reply
  10. Rehan

    Thank you so much, I was about to send the final document for review and accidentally turned on the field codes. Your solution worked for me, however Alt+F9 is better than Shift+F9 in Word 2010 because with Shift+F9 after you update the contents of table, it will put these field codes back in.

    Reply
  11. Paul Crepeau

    Thanks for the solution. This was drive me nuts.

    Reply
  12. Ken

    Thanks very much. I have a new computer with WORD 2010 and was going nuts trying to correct the problem.. I knew there had to be a simple solution, but just couldn’t find it until I reviewed your blog.

    Reply
  13. Ken

    Thanks very much. I knew there was a simple solution–but couldn’t figure it out until came across your blog.

    Reply
  14. Michael

    GREAT! Mike F Robbins you are a ROCK STAR!!!
    Thank you for this solution.

    Reply
  15. Helen

    Thanks. I am right at the end of writing a book and this happened and I didn’t know what to do. It’s people like you who ‘save the lives’ of people like me at such times and I just want you to know that sharing your expertise like this is really kind and I’m so grateful.
    Helen

    Reply
  16. Elizabeth

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for posting such a useful article. If only the mysterious powers at Microsoft still wrote online help systems that were actually helpful, as helpful as your blog.

    I have another problem, and I bet you know the answer. I’m using Word 2010 and I need to be able to find my _broken_ hyperlinks. I broke them on purpose – I removed two chapters because those features got moved to a newer product we make. However, I still need to update the manual for what’s left of the old product. I don’t need to fix the broken hyperlinks. I just need to be able to find them efficiently so I can delete or rewrite the sentences they reside in. The document is 600 pages, so I’m hoping there’s an automated way to find only the broken hyperlinks.

    Thanks in advance!

    Reply
  17. Elizabeth

    PS. I just discovered (duh) that once I toggle the field codes to display, using ALT + F9, now I can used Advanced Find and search for “HYPERLINK” and find each hyperlink.

    But is there a way to find only the broken ones?

    Many thanks!

    Reply
  18. Debra

    Thank you so very much. This had been driving me crazy!

    Reply
  19. Kat

    But what do you do when your F9 is the volume key? I haven’t found a non-F9 solution, nor have I found how to change my F9 key to be non-volume related.

    Reply
  20. jd

    Thanks so much u make ma life easy cse i was in trouble with toggle field codes almost for two months.

    Reply
  21. Steve

    Thanks! You might need to do a separate Alt-F9 for codes in the header or footer.

    Reply
  22. Philippe Crouzet

    Thanks for clues, however it seems there is a bug in W2010 (as before). In some docs, where the linked elements are missing (e.g. because moved without the alinked docs folder), the place where link is broken does not respond to any try and remains with this bloody red cross.
    the link actually exisit and can be updated, at this time it becomes possible to read the field code.
    extremelly unpracticall since when word accepts toggling, a simple replace “wrong address ” “good address” would update all the links at once. I sep,t a lot of time with a “working copy” (toggling operates) to update a text-edited copy where links were changed to different folder!!!

    Reply
  23. tim

    thanks mate!
    I’ve spent the last 2 weeks trying to get rid of that annoying problem which just popped up!

    Reply
  24. Pramail

    Thank you very much. It worked.

    Reply
  25. Liza

    I am having an issue with inserting fields and toggling in msword 2003. This is not an issue with msword 2007, but the system I am now is XP windows, msword 2003, and I can’t get fields in and toggle between them? Help

    Reply
  26. sukriti

    thanks a ton,
    ur solution has helped me to solve my problem related to toggle field codes !!!!!!!

    Reply
  27. Ro

    Thanks so very much! And, I am sure, my professor would thank you too!

    Reply
  28. Dave Mulholland

    Thanks…!

    Reply
  29. Christopher Bull Garlington

    You just saved my sanity. Checking preferences is kind of like the “is it plugged in” fix for the 21st century. I was going nuts. Thanks, dude.

    Reply
  30. Kerry Duff

    Thank you, your solution with Alt F9 saved my mind. It is so frustrating when you somehow turn something on and then can’t work out how to turn it off.

    Reply
  31. Rajeshwari

    Thank you so much for this wonderful simple solution. I was getting annoyed with this problem. You made my work easier

    Reply
  32. thisismyname

    thanks – v. helfpul

    Reply
  33. ASN

    Thans a lot for the information, it really was very helpful to me.
    Good luck and have a nice day

    Reply
  34. Valeria Bender Braulio

    Than you very much, it worked for me, Valeria from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    Thank you, I was struggling with this for months and today I managed to overcome this problem thanks to you. May God bless you, I’ve put into my favorites. Valeria from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

    Reply
  35. Kevin

    Thanks!!! It worked for me. I was struggling to find a solution to this problem and i was going MAD!!!. Thanks very much.

    Reply
  36. Jagdish D Sangle

    Thankss it’s workss………………….. 🙂

    Reply
  37. Riccardo Baldinotti

    Thanks from me,too. And thanks to St.Internet.

    Reply
  38. Mr. Boo

    It worked, Thank you very much.
    🙂

    Reply
  39. santosh

    Brilliant…its really helpful

    Reply
  40. Deena Larsen

    Simple, easy explanation. {**THANK YOU!**}

    Reply
  41. Edvard Jorgensen

    Thanks. Useful and well written.

    Reply
  42. john

    thaks a lot the information related to toggle field codes on and OFF was very much helpfull

    Reply
  43. ROBOT

    YOU ARE A LIFE SAVER. THANKS SO MUCH. I was having so much trouble with field codes and your article helped me solve it. I really appreciate your clear description and excellent descriptions. I will be back often.

    Reply
  44. ray&jane

    Many thanks; solved the problem immediately. Just got to find the gremlin who ticked the box in the first place!!!

    Reply
  45. Liz Hamlin

    That’s really funny. None of the above work for me with citations in a document, all with the field codes showing. No way to toggle off.

    Reply
  46. Alisha Fitch

    How you create a default field code? For instance, I would like to have the page number spelled out not a numeric value. I know the field code “PAGE\*CardText\*FirstCap” but would like it to do that every time I have to add a page number instead of having to edit the field code for the page number. ANY HELP would be appreicated!!

    Reply
  47. JT

    My field code for total number of pages doesn’t work when I press the Print button. It auto updates when I click update field, but when I choose print, my print preview doesn’t shows the total number of pages. I have input it in my cover page and not on the footer.. anyone can help?

    Reply
  48. Stefan Sigfried

    I have a curious problem with field codes. About at the same time that Office 2013 was introduced field codes for indexes started displaying in the adobe acrobat files that I generate from Word 2010 using the save as pdf option.

    For instance a text:
    “through the fractional reserve system that is”
    would become:
    “through the fractional reserve system{ XE “fractional reserve system” } that is”
    in the generated .pdf file.

    I have checked that the field codes are not toggled on, and also made the additional checks as outlined above:
    “Word Options>Advanced” in the “Show document content”
    “Word Options>Advanced” in the “Print” section:

    Because I had a similar problem with my Word 2007 when Office 2010 was introduced I was starting to suspect Microsoft was using some type of planned obsolescence. (That time equations suddenly failed to appear in my adobe acrobat files and were replaced with blank space. A problem that was fixed when I purchased the new edition of Office …)

    However, I recently installed the same Word 2010 on a computer that I upgraded with a new motherboard for my son. On that computer everything works just fine and no field codes appear in the adobe acrobat generated files. (I have of course tried to reinstall Office 2010 on my own computer, but the error appears there immediately after the reinstall.)

    Anyone out there with a clue as to what is going on?

    For instance, is there any possibility that something should be changed in the registry for this error to disappear?

    Reply
  49. Brandon

    Worked great!

    thanks for posting this.

    Reply
  50. Christine Agostino

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

    Reply
  51. Roberta Lawrence

    You are awesome……I was thinking about opening the door and tossing the whole thing.
    Thank you

    Reply
  52. lkusanagiLuis Micrute

    Thanks Man!

    I was almost going back to the 2010.

    Saved my Life haha

    Reply
  53. Martha Levinson

    So now that I caqn toggle, how do we restart the “total Pages” count (e.g., 10 of 10 in Section 1 where we have Sections 2+

    Reply
  54. Laura

    Thank you so much, Mike! You literally saved my life with this simple fix. You’re amazing!

    Reply
  55. hamed

    Thank you so very much. This had been driving me crazy!

    Reply
  56. Tomas

    Thanks man you really help my….it was a nightmare to toggle off every time I opened the document I was working with

    Reply
  57. Nick Thompson

    Mike you have made my day!!

    Reply
  58. Kapil Verma

    Thanks a lot Mike 🙂

    Reply
  59. Abu Baker Tamboul

    I really do not how to thank you. You cannot imagine how I was frustrated and disappointed? You made to sleep at 03:00 am. I was excepting not to sleep. You saved my time.
    Thank you again and again

    Reply
  60. John

    Thank you very much ! It was very helpful !!!

    Reply
  61. Jace

    Mike, how do I prevent the user from deleting away the field codes which I have inserted into the document? Many of them don’t know how to update the field codes, they manually delete away my field codes and key in the data manually…

    Reply
  62. Frank

    Man, you made me happy! I am not sure how it happened, but the field codes were constantly toggled on. Thank You!!

    Reply
  63. Ann

    THANK YOU! This has been a problem for a month. My IT dept had no clue how to help me!

    Reply
  64. Jim R

    Can someone explain why a “current page” of “total number of pages” field code is displayed as 1 of 1, and only updates in print preview or when you click on the footer?

    Reply
  65. Yvonne

    Thank you. You save my day. Is really helpful.

    Reply
  66. Ahmad

    Thanks. A great help!

    Reply
  67. jnp

    Nice, thanks!

    Reply
  68. David

    Thank you ! It is very helpful for me.!

    Reply
  69. plainandsimplepress

    ducky! How do you do it on a mac?

    Reply
  70. CJ74

    I get “Error! Reference Source not Found” when I print word doc… Any ideas how to fix?

    Reply
  71. Catherine Laurence

    As above, also need to know how to do this on mac. I’ve tried opt f9 but nothing happens. TIA!

    Reply
  72. Janakiraman

    Toggle problem solved… Great.. This helps me a lot…

    Reply
  73. teformavirtualTefera

    After indexing a Word document, instead of links appeared the XE codes throughout all files. Now it is solved. Thank you very much!!!

    Reply
  74. Jim Saunders

    Thank you for your efficient and easy answer

    Reply
  75. raja

    Can you advise how do you toggle field codes in Microsoft word 2007? I used to be able to right click over the field to edit text or toggle on and off. Thank you!

    Reply
  76. Johan

    thanks to bring my word back to normal

    Reply

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