Word 2007 File-Naming Convention Tip

In a previous post I showed how you can implement a file-naming convention for Office Word 2007 documents. In that example I added two side-by-side content controls, a text box and a date picker, on a separate line at the top of the document. In the case of the date picker, I modified the date format, because Office Word 2007 truncates the name when it encounters a character that is not a space or alphanumeric (e.g., comma, dash, slash, etc.).

Date Format

Someone later asked if it were possible to hide the content controls and their corresponding values, to prevent end users from seeing them when editing the document. Technically, the answer is “no”. The content control values must be present in the document in order for Office Word 2007 to include them in the Save As dialog box during the save operation. However, you can still “hide” those values from the end user with a simple formatting trick. Just change the font color for the controls to match that of the background color.

Change the Font Color

In addition to changing the font color, you can also lock down the content controls and reduce the font size of the line they are on to something like 1pt. So while you cannot remove the content control values from the document, you can change their properties so that they seem invisible.

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