When to [Blank] Fields

By Darci Crandall

In todays post we will discuss when fields should be “Blanked Out” and when they shouldn’t.


Have you ever typed a value into a field and the box turned red? Sometimes you open a project and the boxes are red to begin with – before you’ve started indexing!


The boxes turn red when:

(1) a field is a “required field” and nothing is keyed into it, or…

(2) whatever was keyed into the field doesn’t match the computer’s dictionary.

Required fields are highlighted in red until an entry is put into the field.

Does this mean that you’re wrong if you leave a Required field blank? No! Required fields are added to projects to help you know which fields should (almost always) have information available to be keyed. These fields indicate what information is most important, however every record is different, and may not have the same information available as other records.

In the example below, Ethelred II does not have a surname. The Surname field is a required field, but since no surname appears, it would be correct to mark the field blank.


The computer will make sure you double check any required fields that were left blank. You cannot move to the next image or complete the image set until all the red fields are marked okay.

If you are sure that what you left blank is correct, you should click the button that has a dash on it (or use the keyboard shortcut “Ctrl + B”). This will mark the field blank, telling the computer that it is okay that this required field is blank. The word [Blank] will appear in the field when you do this, and you will be able to move to the next image or complete the image set.



You only need to blank fields that were marked red by the dictionary. Do NOT¬†blank fields that were not flagged by the dictionary. (i.e. Please don’t mark all the empty¬†fields blank).

What not to do:


What to do:


Happy Keying!

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