You are here:

Microsoft Word/Form Field default text as ref to other field



Using Word 2010. My document has user-fillable forms. When data is entered in some text fields, it auto-populates other areas of the form. I would like a form field at the end of the document to have the default text set by a previously filled out field entry (like a standard ref). The end goal is to provide default text that might be correct based on previous entries, but if it is not correct then the user could insert text (since it is a form field and that's merely default text, its not "hard text" like a ref, which is uneditable when the document is locked for editing / except for filling in form fields).

Not sure this is possible. Couldn't find an answer when searching.

Boiled down, the simplest question would be: Can I set the default text property of a text form field to be a ref or bookmark?

Many thanks,


Interesting question. The simple answer is "No, it's not possible," but it seems to me there should be some way to accomplish this, though it may be that you would have to use either a UserForm or content controls.

Most likely, this is going to require some VBA, in which I have no expertise. I would suggest that you post a question at There are several Word MVPs who frequent that forum who enjoy coming up with VBA solutions for users, and perhaps one of them can figure out how to do what you need.
About Microsoft Word
This topic answers questions related to Microsoft Word stand-alone or Microsoft Office Word including Word 2003, Word 2007, Office 2000, and Office XP. You can get Word help on formatting text, tables, tabs, fonts, styles, general Word layouts, bullets, headings, and outlines, using templates, toolbar modifications, and using Track Changes. You may also find tips on linking Word and Excel embedded objects including charts. This site does not provide a general Word tutorial nor the basics of using a word processor. It provides specific answers to using Microsoft Word only. If you do not see your Word question answered in this area then please ask a Word question here

Microsoft Word

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Suzanne S. Barnhill


I've been using Word for Windows since version 2.0 (1992), and the more I learn about it, the more I realize how little I know. But I may know a few things that you don't, and I'll help if I can. I answer many questions every day in Microsoft's peer support forums and as a result have been awarded the MVP (Most Valuable Professional) designation by Microsoft Corporation. You may be able to find the answer to your question at the Word MVPs' FAQ site or at my own Word FAQ site, so please check those first! Please, no questions about VBA (macros), Registry editing, networks, or complex merges, as I have no experience with these aspects of Word, nor do I have any experience with Word for Mac. Please indicate which version of Word you are using; if you are not sure, see "What version of Word do I have?".


I have a master's degree in classics (Latin), which is surprisingly helpful, though I no longer teach. The things I am proudest of: Having raised two children to maturity, both Merit Scholars, both college graduates (one a philosophy major!), one Phi Beta Kappa (from Harvard!); having been made a Paul Harris Fellow by my Rotary club; having been designated a Microsoft MVP.

Rotary Club of Fairhope, Friends of the Fairhope Public Library

B.A. (Latin), Agnes Scott College, 1966; M.A. (Classics), Emory University, 1972.

Awards and Honors
Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award every year since 1999; many Rotary honors

©2016 All rights reserved.