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  • We have a word 2010 and 2007 template which we have used Content Controls.
  • Specifically "Text Fields"
  • The form is distributed as "Filling in forms" under editing restrictions

Use Case:

A user will enter text into a "Text Field" without issue And then decide to change that to no text - thus removing the text The field then displays "Click here to enter text" in a font which we cannot control.


These fields where the "Click here to enter text" is shifts the field by a carriage return thus affecting the amount of pages in the document.

Best Case/Practice:

We would like to REMOVE the "Click here to enter text" Or We would like th font to be small enough not to affect the aspect/size of the given area

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

You can do this, but there are drawbacks:

Method: (with formatting restrictions turned off)

  • Insert your content control
  • Click "Design Mode" (in the Controls section of the Developer ribbon)
  • The default text ("Click here to enter text") can now be edited in any way you want -- with one exception: it must contain at least one character (but it can be a space). You can even change the font face and size.
  • Click the "Design Mode" button again, to return to standard mode.


  • if you remove all the text (save one character), it becomes slightly more challenging for a user to click in the form (a harder target for their mouse). Perhaps you could leave just a few characters, if that doesn't impact your page count.
  • if you only use space characters, the content control becomes invisible until you click in it, again, making it more challenging for the user to find it. (Although you can adjust Field Shading to help here)

For more details, refer to this documentation

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thank you for the response, however same issue - it did not seem to adjust what is default size of the font "Click here to enter text" the real only option is to make the column large enough to accomidate – Mike T Aug 11 '12 at 23:15
thank you for the response, - after posting it did not work - i see we must make the Error or "Click here to enter text" on EVERY content control - then edit the text in Design mode. Too bad this is not a feature you can just shut off – Mike T Aug 11 '12 at 23:21
@MikeT: yes, it is too bad you can't set it up as the default. Possible workaround: create the content control and edit it how you like it, then copy and paste it as often as you need. – kmote Aug 12 '12 at 21:57

You can modify the style associated with the default text of content controls. Doing this means you can change the formatting of the default text for all content controls.

The style itself is hidden but can be found using the following steps:

  1. On the main toolbar click Home and then the small arrow at the bottom right of the Styles toolbar.
  2. Click the Manage Styles button at the bottom (it looks like a pencil infront of two A's)
  3. On the Edit tab choose to sort the list alphabetically (it's easier) and find the Placeholder Text style. You will see the style is set as always hidden. If you want to change this click on the Recommended Tab and click Show.
  4. With the placeholder style selected click Modify and change the font\size\color to something that avoids the page structure from changing. You should see this formatting applied to all content controls which display default text.

This technique work for every content control in the the document and also for any new controls inserted.

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You can select click the arrow on bottom right of the Font category in the Home tab , or hit CONTROL+D, select "hidden" and the 'click here to type' text will be hidden.

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