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Error message when you perform a mail merge operation in Word: "Word found locked fields during update"

Support for Office 2003 has ended

Microsoft ended support for Office 2003 on April 8, 2014. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

This article was previously published under Q292155
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
When you perform a mail merge operation in Microsoft Word, you may receive the following error message:
Word found locked fields during update. Word cannot update the locked fields.
This behavior occurs when the following conditions are true:
  • A {SHAPE \* MERGEFORMAT} field is included in your mail merge main document. This field is created when a text box or an AutoShape is added, with a drawing canvas, to the mail merge main document.

    NOTE: To see the fields contained in your document, press ALT+F9.
  • The wrapping style of the drawing canvas is set to In Line With Text.
To work around this issue, use one of the following methods.

Method 1: Turn Off Drawing Canvas When You Insert AutoShapes

To prevent Word from automatically creating a drawing canvas when you insert AutoShapes, follow these steps:
  1. On the Tools menu, click Options.
  2. In the Options dialog box, click to clear the Automatically create drawing canvas when inserting AutoShapes check box on the General tab.

Method 2: Change the Wrapping Style

To change the wrapping style of the drawing canvas, follow these steps:
  1. Click the drawing canvas.

    Notice that the Drawing Canvas toolbar appears.
  2. On the Drawing Canvas toolbar, click Text Wrapping, and then click any wrapping style other than In Line With Text.
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.

Article ID: 292155 - Last Review: 12/06/2015 01:22:01 - Revision: 2.2

Microsoft Office Word 2003, Microsoft Word 2002 Standard Edition

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