MSWord Options 2 – Display field shading

Options – Display grey field shading

The Collins Dictionary says “A field is an area of a computer’s memory or a program where data can be entered, edited, or stored.” MSWord has fields such as date and author fields that it stores in its File Properties.

You cannot change the text in a field because it changes back as soon as you print the document.  You therefore need to be able to see fields so that you do not change them by mistake.  Word allows you to display the fields with a grey highlight.  In order to do so:

  1. Go to the File tab and select the Options button.
  2. In the left pane of the Word Options dialog box, select the Advanced option.
  3. In the right pane, under the heading, Show document content, change the Field Shading to “Always”, as shown below:
Word Options dialog box - Advanced > Show document content
Word Options > Advanced > Show document content

If you want to change a field in the text, you must first “lock” it (Ctrl+Shift+F9) and then make your change


Go to the Properties pane where the field originates and change the text there.  Go to the File tab, Info option to see the Properties pane on the right. Click in a field in the right-hand column of the Properties pane to add or change text.

If you cannot see the property you want, click Show All Properties, as shown below.

Word Options > Info > Properties > Show All Properties

Six more properties are displayed, as shown below, highlighted by an orange border.

The Properties pane has two columns. The fields are in the right-hand column and the field names are on the left.

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