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My document has tons of field codes, pointing to sections. Now, I need to update the label of these field codes, but I don't want to skim the document for them.

How do I search for all the field codes I have in my DOC document? I'm using Word 2010.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Below the vertical scroll bar, there are three buttons: an up-arrow, a round thing, and a down-arrow.  Click on the middle one, which is “Select Browse Object” and can also be accessed as Alt+Ctrl+Home:

enter image description here

This gives you a 6×2 palette of browsable objects.  Click on the {a}, which represents Fields.

enter image description here

Now “Next Find” (the down-arrow button, also accessible as Ctrl+Page Down) and “Previous Find” (the up-arrow button, also accessible as Ctrl+Page Up) become “Next Field” and “Previous Field”, respectively, and you can use them to jump from field to field.

                enter image description here

The other boxes in the palette let you search / navigate for endnotes, footnotes, comments, section breaks, pages, edits (go back to the last three places you made changes), headings, graphics, tables, and, of course, ordinary text find.

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Great, detailed, answer. Thanks. – John Assymptoth Jan 11 '13 at 9:25
@Scott, never knew about that feature! They couldn't of done a better job of hiding it away down there. – Adam Jan 11 '13 at 10:01
You can browse by this way not search them. – SAMPro Jul 22 '15 at 12:11
@SAMPro: The question says, "I need to update the label[s] of these field codes …" and "How do I search for all the field codes … in my … document?" [emphasis added].  It doesn't say, "How do I search for the field code(s) that meet criteria X, Y, and Z?" or "How do I do a Find and Replace that affects field codes (and field codes only)?"  My answer lets you find the first field, and then the second, and then the third, and so on ….  I do not understand why you consider this not to be searching for all the field codes (in order to update them all). – Scott Jul 22 '15 at 16:37

To make your fields will be easier to find see:

Word 2010 Go to the "File" menu, then Options --> Advanced --> Show document content Change "Field Shading" to Always.

Word 2003 Go to the "Tools" menu, then Options and click the "View" tab. Change "Field Shading" to Always.

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Thanks for the tip – John Assymptoth Jan 11 '13 at 15:49
+1, this answer is more straightforward and to the point. I have tones of picture and want to edit label of its captions by a one search and replace. – SAMPro Jul 22 '15 at 12:14
@SAMPro: I believe your comment shows that you have a question/situation that is different from John's.  Even given that, I don't understand how this answer helps you.  If you want to do a single Find and Replace that affects figure captions, why can't you just do a "Find and Replace" → "Replace All"? – Scott Jul 22 '15 at 17:09
Just a file and replace doesn't solve the problem, you must right click and select Toggle Field Codes for every one. Updating label of field codes is possible only by this way. – SAMPro Jul 23 '15 at 19:32

Simply press ALT+F9 to show the field codes of all fields in the document. You can then use find and replace to find specific text of the field code just like regular text.

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In my case, the fields code varies a lot and it would not be easy to find a search expression. – John Assymptoth Jan 11 '13 at 9:24

UPDATING : The easiest and fastest way to update all document Field labels (typically all figure numbers when using copy/paste commands) :

  • CTRL + A (select all document content);
  • F9 (update all field labels in the current selection).

CHECKING FOR ERRORS : Then search for the string that represent a field error ("Error! Reference source not found", usually the substring "Error!" is enough to find them), to make sure everything was updated without errors.

If an error is found, undo the field updates (CTRL+Z) and try to solve the problem before updating all field labels.

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