In my forms I created, the user (person filling it out) doesn’t want to see the grey shaded areas to fill in. Can that be removed?
— Submitted by Marsha
Yes, those gray shaded boxes can be removed. The gray shading does not print, but if you are creating an online form, all of those gray boxes can make your form look messy and confusing.
Types of Microsoft Word form fields
First, for the benefit of users who are new to using Microsoft Word forms, let me give a brief explanation of the two types of text form fields available in Word 2007 and Word 2010: legacy and content controls.
Legacy form fields are a carry over from Word 2003 and earlier versions. There are three types available: text, checkbox, and drop-down list. If the form is saved as a Word 97 – 2003 (.doc) document, you must use legacy form fields to create your form.
Legacy form fields have more configuration options available than Word 2007/2010 content controls, which is why they are still used. For example, you can attach a macro to a Legacy form field, but you cannot attach macros to one of the new content controls.
Content controls are new for Word 2007. For text form fields, you can select from either plain text or rich text formats. A rich text content control allows the user to format the text, such as adding bold or changing the font color.
Removing form field shading from legacy fields
Follow these steps to remove the form field shading from your custom Microsoft Word form:
- On the Developer tab, click Design Mode.
- In the Controls group, click Legacy Tools.
- Click Form Field Shading.
- Click Design Mode again to toggle it off.
To configure a Legacy form field, right-click it and select Properties.
If you use Legacy form fields, you have to protect your form for filling in form fields, otherwise the form will not work. To protect a form in Word 2007, on the Developer tab, click Protect Document; in Word 2010, click Restrict Editing.
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I looked at about 5 sites previous to this one and they were all wrong! This one actually works, nice one!
Hi Anon. Thanks for letting me know this tutorial helped you! I don’t always get it right because sometimes I misunderstand the question or don’t know what version the person is using… But I always hope that my readers will let me know if something doesn’t work as described. =D
Exactly what I was looking for (after so many failed attempts to find the answer), and it was such an easy solution!Thank you!!
Form fill in field shading
That’s been bugging me for a year !!
Finally got rid of the shading.
Thanks! I must have clicked every button in Word trying to get rid of that damn shading! I never would have figured that out on my own, and Word Help wasn’t much help. Why does Microsoft make this so complicated?
I had the same experience–lots of sites with no answer, but this works. Thanks.
07 Feb 2012 – Thank you!
Thank you so much for your tip! I had already spent a several hours of my own trying to figure out how to turn off the shading after my manager had set up a template with it on. It was driving me and my managers CRAZY! 2010 is new to us so were all trying to figure out where all of the features we used to use are. After reading your tip I had the shading turned off within 5 min. Thanks again. You ROCK!
Thanks so much! I’m sure you saved me a lot of aggravation looking for this answer!
Joe Schmoe says
Thanks! Worked perfectly!
Sue Huckle says
Fantastic! Thanks for letting me know, Joe Schmoe! 😉
I have been struggling with field shading for a while now and getting very frustrated, this was such an easy and very helpful solution! Many thanks
I had been going crazy for finding a solution of removing the field shadings.
Thank you so much!! This was very useful and it is simple!!
I tried this and it only worked on the first form field code, but none of the rest. So I tried something else. While in the document, I went to File - Options - Advanced, and scrolled down to where it says "shade form field" and I selected "Never." Th says
I tried this and it only worked on the first form field code, but none of the rest. I even tried saving it down to another format of Word and got the same result.
So I tried something else. While in the document, I went to File – Options – Advanced, and scrolled down to where it says “shade form field” and I selected “Never.” That removed all the shading in the document, but upon selecting ALT-F9, you can see that the field codes are still there.