Moving fields in the data source

As most folks figure out quickly, InfoPath doesn't support drag-and-drop of fields in the data source. There are a lot of technical reasons for this, and even a usability concern that people won't realize they can drag fields onto the form as controls if we also allowed them to drag fields around in the data source. But we've heard enough feedback that changing that has made it onto the long list of possible features for future releases. Keep the feedback coming!
So how do you move fields groups in the data source?
One way is to right-click the field or group and select "Move Up" or "Move Down". This is great for novices because it's discoverable, but it's a painful number of clicks if you're an expert who has to move a lot of fields in many forms.
A trick for the keyboardist
The fastest way to move a field or group a long distances is:
  1. Open the data source task pane
  2. Type the "F6" key
  3. Click tab until a field in the data source is highlighted in orange
  4. Use the Up/Down arrow keys to select the field you want to move
  5. Hold down the CTRL key and use the Up/Down arrow keys to move the field
Note that this only moves the field in order, it won't move it as a child of a different group. To do that you still need to right-click the field and select "Move".
Hope that helps!
Comments (14)

  1. sirwally says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!  Every time I go to move an element around within the data source (especially when I’m moving a number of them) I have always wondered why there was not keyboard shortcut to do this, and cursing inevitably ensued.  It’s a shame that CTRL+LEFT|RIGHT don’t let you move an element along its ancestral chain. 🙁

  2. oldcat says:

    I find it verry irritating that I can’t move several fields at the same time. I created a table, and all the fields were in tha main container (myFields). I wanted to group them, and move all the 200 fields to the group to make it more logical. Unfortunately I had to rightclick , select move, and select the group 200 times. Verry time consuming and irritating. is there a way to select multiple fields and move them all at once?

  3. oldcat says:

    Also being able to decide where the data fields of the newly created controls should be located in the very begining would be nice. It works only if you create a repeating table. It automatically creates a repeating group and adds all fields to that group. But if I create a normal fixt size table, and want to associate it with a group that I create, and want all the fields of that table to be created in that group? Can’t find a way to do that, and it would be verry usefull. Something to put on the wish-list for future releases maybe? I have many remarks about Infopath having to use it extensively recently. Would be more than happy to share 🙂

  4. Anonymous says:

    That is MUCH better! Instead of orange, my fields turned gray which confused me at first. All is well in Dodge now…thanks!

  5. Anonymous says:

    This doesn't seem to work in InfoPath Designer 2010…What a shame!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Ok, I was wrong, I didn't hold down the CTRL key when clicked Up/Down….why MS made it so difficult, why cannot we just drag and drop?

  7. Anonymous says:

    I came here through looking for a way to move and/or re-order fields in an InfoPath list form.

    As it happens, if that's what you want to do, you must first save your form back to SharePoint (creating any new list columns as a result of adding InfoPath fields). Close the form. Then re-order the columns in the SharePoint list and go to edit the form again.

    When you re-open the form to edit, you'll receive a notification telling you some things have changed in the SharePoint list. Accept the changes and you'll see that your fields adopt the order you set in SharePoint.

  8. Anonymous says:

    This post has probably saved me more time than any other I've ever read for InfoPath. Thank you!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!  Saves so much time!

  10. Anonymous says:

    More than 6 years since you posted this, and you are still saving people time! Thank you!!!

  11. Anonymous says:

    This has really made me save time. Thanks a lot. It looks so simple, even too simple to write about it a blog article but I'm very gratefull.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Once the my InfoPath 2010 form is uploaded to SharePoint, they appear with a little locked icon and all of the options to move up/down and the F6 feature don't work. Is there anyway to reorganize the fields once the information has been published to SharePoint?

  13. Anonymous says:

    OMG TY! this saved me 80 hours of work.

  14. Anonymous says:

    OMG THANK YOU. Moving up/down fields takes so long.

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