IN THIS CHAPTER
This book has touched on fields several times, but only in relation to their role in other Word features. You've seen fields used to insert dates and page numbers, to number equations, and a few other things. So far, however, the book hasn't delved into fields and how to use them to automate document content.
A number of tasks that required fields in Word 2003 and earlier can now be performed more efficiently and elegantly with content controls (contained in the Controls section of the Developer tab; see Chapter 24, “Creating Custom Forms”). If you work with complex documents in compatibility mode, you are much more likely to encounter fields than when working in the .docx format.
Moreover, a number of linking tasks that require the use of fields in a compatibility-mode document can be performed in ways that are more robust (harder to break) in the XML-based Word .docx format, so when you insert links you're less likely to see field codes than before. Instead, much is done behind the scenes with XML technology.
Yet some Word 2013 features—dates, page numbers, mail merge, tables of contents, indexes, and some others—still do rely on fields. This book covers a number of the field-dependent features elsewhere. This chapter's mission is not to redundantly cover ...