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I know it's possible to have MS Word 2011 update all fields before printing a document but I would like to be able to update the fields whenever I feel the need to. Is there a keyboard short cut for this for MS Word 2011 on Mac OS X?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

You can update fields in a document by pressing F9. On Word for Mac this will update all fields at once, whereas if you were using Microsoft Word on Windows you would have to first select all text and then press F9.

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F9, yes. Thanks! – TJ. Jan 2 '13 at 10:44
In MS Word for Mac OS X one also has to select everything before hitting F9 in order to update everything. Pressing F9 with nothing selected will have no effect. – TJ. Jan 2 '13 at 11:22
@TJ, Thanks for this clarification, it appears my memory was incorrect :) – Adam Jan 2 '13 at 11:28
With Word for Mac 2011, F9 does not update fields in the header/footer unless the field is actually selected, which requires opening the footer manually. If the document has multiple sections, it's not possible to select all the footers at once. In this situation, using Command-P followed by Esc as in @JustinSmith's answer is ideal. – Christian Conkle Jan 10 at 20:40

Using F9 didn't work for me, running MS Word 2011 on a Macbook Pro with 10.8.4.

An alternative solution I found is to select all the text using command-A and then press command-shift-option-U. You can find that keyboard shortcut by control-clicking on the field and looking for "update field" in the menu.

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Have you tried FN+F9? – TJ. Jul 15 '13 at 6:46
Similar situation - I've tried all the meta keys I can think of with F9, and it does nothing. Select-all and command-shift-option-U works. (EDIT: sometimes, anyway) – mo-seph Jul 26 '13 at 10:59

I know this answer seems to be implied in the question, but I think it's the best answer and should be listed (the fact that other answers even are given implies that it is being overlooked).

[Command + P] followed by [Esc]


  1. This is faster than the select-all method (same number of commands, fewer keys)
  2. Fields in headers and footers are also updated (not accomplished by select-all method)

So in conclusion: no, there's no specific single shortcut to update all fields, and the alternatives are not superior to [Command + P] [Esc].

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There is a button in Step 2 of the Mail Merge Manager that looks like an envelope with arrows pointing right and down. Its description says "Fill in the items to complete your document."

While madly clicking because I was angry that there was no Update All Fields button, I discovered that this button does the same thing as Update All Fields. My problem is that I forget that every time I have to use the software, which in my case is only a few times per year.

I'll keep my Microsoft opinions to myself. :)

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MS Word for Mac 2011

Command+A (select all fields in document)

Option+Command+Shift+U (to update all fields highlighted)

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In Mac Word 2011, OS X Yosemite, the cmd-P, Esc did not update the cross-references in the footnotes.

To do both main body and footnote, I first placed my cursor in main-body, select All (cmd-A), update fields (Opt+Cmd+Shift+U), click OK when notified this can't be undone.

Then, I placed my cursor in any footnote area, repeated the select-All and update fields process.

Now my cross references are updated in both the main body and the footnotes.

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BTW - footnote numbers may be incorrect if you have track changes ON and you have deleted footnotes. The solution is to accept the changes so that the footnote numbers are updated. – henryaz Mar 5 at 19:37
Thanks for the edits, Mikey. Looks a lot nicer and reads more easily. – henryaz Mar 11 at 19:41

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