Converting Fields to Regular Text (and Why That Matters)

By Jack Lyon, the Editorium

Microsoft Word documents often include fields that authors use to insert text that isn't really text: dates, page references, author names, and much more. If you're editing a document that includes text copied and pasted from a web page (quite frequent these days), the text probably includes hyperlink fields, perhaps in a nice shade of blue or purple. Other kinds of fields may be indistinguishable from regular text, but that doesn't mean they'll translate correctly for publication. Usually, all of those fields first need to be converted to regular text. There are several ways to do that.

From the keyboard

  1. Press CTRL + A to select all text.
  2. Press CTRL + 6 to convert fields to text.

Using macros

This macro does the same thing as the keyboard procedure above:

Sub ConvertFieldsToText()
End Sub

This macro converts hyperlinks only:

Sub RemoveHyperlinks()
    Dim oField As Field
    For Each oField In ActiveDocument.Fields
        If oField.Type = wdFieldHyperlink Then
        End If
    Set oField = Nothing
End Sub

To use the macros, follow the instructions here.

The really interesting line in that last macro is this one, which identifies the type of field we want to unlink:

If oField.Type = wdFieldHyperlink Then

The reason that's interesting is that we can specify a different type of field using any of the options listed here. Go ahead, be choosy!

Using Editor's ToolKit Plus

Editor's ToolKit Plus makes the conversion easy. Just click the "Text" button and then click "Convert hyperlinks to regular text." (This actually converts all fields to regular text.)


Deleting (rather than just converting) fields

If you want to actually delete the fields (not just convert them to text), Allen Wyatt provides a good solution here.

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