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Updating Fields

Unfortunately, even after you've specified the fields that you want Word to maintain, Word doesn't always anticipate your needs. At least, it doesn't always anticipate mine. I don't know about you, but if I enter a field to give me the word count for a document (NumWords), I want it updating as I type—zipping along like a meter in a taxi. Perhaps some people might find the scrolling annoying, but for those of us trying to fill a specific space, it could be darned reassuring.

Some fields, such as page numbers, recalculate automatically. Other fields—like the NumWords field I was whining about above—have to be jogged to update.

You can update individual fields or all fields in a document:

  • To update a specific field, click the field and press F9 or right-click the field and choose Update Field.

  • To update all fields, select the whole document (by pressing Ctrl+A, for example) and press F9 or right-click and choose Update Field.

Any time you print a document with field codes, you need to make sure that you've updated the fields before printing. You can ensure that the fields are always up to the minute before you print by using this procedure:

  1. Choose Tools, Options and click and the Print tab.

  2. Under Printing Options, select Update Fields.

Once you've checked this box, your document fields will always update before you print. Keep in mind, however, that someone taking your document from the server to print on another computer may not have this option checked.

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