Content controls

Content controls are individual controls that you can add and customize for use in templates, forms, and documents. For example, many online forms are designed with a drop-down list control that provides a restricted set of choices for the user of the form. Content controls can provide instructional text for users, and you can set controls to disappear when users type in their own text.

These are the content controls available in Microsoft Office Word 2007. You can reuse and distribute your customized content controls, as well as create your own building blocks to include in a content control.

You can find the content controls for your document on the Developer tab.

View the Developer tab

  1. Click the Microsoft Office Button Office button image , and then click Word Options.

  2. Click Popular.

  3. Select the Show Developer tab in the Ribbon check box, and then click OK.

    Note: The Ribbon is a component of the Microsoft Office Fluent user interface.

Note: If content controls are not available, you may have opened a document created in an earlier version of Microsoft Office Word. To use content controls, you must convert the document to the Word 2007 file format by clicking the Microsoft Office Button Office button image , clicking Convert, and then clicking OK.

Content controls in Word 2007

Content control




Rich Text

Formatting can be saved by loading, saving, or closing the document.

Use for a short paragraph such as an abstract, a summary, or a legal disclaimer.

No restrictions.


Limited to content that cannot contain any formatting, only plain text.

Use for a simple paragraph.

Limits the formatting to the formatting that is applied around the content control. You can change the formatting by making changes to the surrounding formatting.


Fills the content control with a single picture.

Use for a drawing, shape, chart, table, clip art object, or SmartArt graphic.

Limits formatting changes to picture brightness and contrast. Also prohibits users from inserting any other Word objects or any text.

Combo Box

Contains a list that you can edit directly. Formatting can be saved by saving or closing the document.

Like plain text, limits text to a single paragraph that cannot contain any formatting.

Drop-Down List

Contains a list of restricted choices defined by the template author when the user activates the drop-down box.

Use this to provide a set of choices, such as a list of names or a set of formatted design elements (such as cover pages or header or footers).

Like plain text, limits text to a single paragraph that cannot contain any formatting.

Date Picker

Contains a calendar control. Limits text to a single paragraph.

Use this to help users enter a date.

Like plain text, limits text to a single paragraph that cannot contain any formatting.

Building Block Gallery

Shows a gallery of formatted design choices that you can add to the content control.

Use this to specify a set of cover pages, headers and footers, page designs, or other building blocks that you add to the Quick Parts gallery.

No restrictions.

Share Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Email Email

Was this information helpful?

Great! Any other feedback?

How can we improve it?

Thank you for your feedback!