I'm using a template in word with text content control and I want to access the text written.

I tried to google it but it seems I don't have the right keywords.

For instance, the beginning of my text could be :

Publisher : [ _____ ]
Writer : [ _____ ]

And I could then insert the publisher or writer name later in the text based on what the user put in the fields.

Is this possible ? (it don't have to be a content control though)

NB : the document is to be used by not-geek-at-all, and so it should not use any VBA or other 3rd party app.


I think bookmarks might work well in this situation.

  1. First, make sure the user cannot delete your content control by selecting the control and locking it from deletion. Developer tab > Properties > check box in the Locking area > OK.

Content control properties window

  1. Second, select the content control and insert a bookmark. Insert tab > Bookmark. Enter a bookmark name and click Add.
  2. Within your text, add a cross reference to the bookmark. Insert tab > Cross-reference > select relevant bookmark > Insert button.

**Important note: cross-references do not immediately auto-update. I usually select all my text [Control A] and push [F9] to update.

When data is entered and the fields updated, you will have something like this:

Example text with updated content control and bookmarks

  • One thing though : the content won't update if the "content cannot be deleted" is checked on the cross-reference. I couldnt add the reference to the text only, so it copy-pastes the whole content control. Mar 27 '17 at 9:20

This might have to do with Word Field Codes. Try the following

The Function and Shortcut Keys that manipulate fields

Windows Keys | What

  • F9 | Update/Refresh Selected Field
  • Shift+F9 | Display/Hide Field Codes (selected field)
  • Alt+F9 | Display/Hide All Field Codes (all fields in document)
  • Ctrl+F9 | Create Empty Field (Insert { }Braces)

I use fields often when trying to automate forms See Here for more info

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.