Word 2011 for Mac: Add Fields to a Document

By Geetesh Bajaj, James Gordon

In their broadest definition, Word fields are special codes that perform various tasks. Fields in Word 2011 for Mac are an essential part of mail merge, page numbering, and other tasks. Some fields are very simple; others are quite complex. Getting to know Word fields in Office 2011 for Mac is probably easiest if you start with a new, blank Word document in Print Layout view.

In the following steps, you’ll collect three tools and then put them onto a toolbar so that you can use them later. You can drag them to the Standard toolbar or any other toolbar.

Follow these steps to drag these commands onto any toolbar of your choice:

  1. In Word, choose View→Toolbars→Customize Toolbars and Menus.

  2. Select the Commands tab and make sure that the left pane shows All Commands.

    Click in the right panel and then press the first letter of the command to bring you to that letter of the alphabet and save time.

  3. Drag the ViewFieldCodes, InsertFieldChars, and UpdateFields commands to any toolbar.

  4. Click OK to close the Customize Toolbars and Menus dialog.

Where do Word fields hide on your computer? They quietly reside in a small, but powerful, dialog; choose Insert→Field. The Field dialog appears. Here you can insert a special code, dubbed a field code, into your Word document. The field code categories are listed on the left side of the dialog in the Categories list. The Field Names list on the right side of the dialog allows you to select a field code to insert into a document.

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You can grab the Time Word field and put it into a blank document in order to pick it apart and see how it works. For this example, follow these steps:

  1. Click the New button on Word’s Standard toolbar to open a new, blank Word document.

  2. Choose Insert→Field.

  3. In the Categories list, choose Date and Time.

  4. In the Field Names list, choose Time.

    The description in the dialog changes to The Current Time.

  5. Click OK to close the Field dialog.