IBM Support

Error: 'Only plain text can be used in this type of field' when editing doc in Notes

Technote (FAQ)


A Lotus Notes® database has been populated with documents created by an agent. Each document can be opened, edited and saved except for two. When the customer attempts to open either of these two documents and selects CTRL+E to place the documents in Edit mode, the following error message occurs:

    "Only plain text can be used in this type of field"
If the documents are deleted and created manually, they can be edited with no problems.


In this case, all the documents in the customer's database contained Text fields populated by a LotusScript agent. The data used for populating these fields was being pulled from other Notes databases. Most of the databases contained the same type field (Text) in the form being used for the documents in those databases. However, in the two documents that showed the error, the Text fields were populated by Rich Text contained in only two of those databases. The document was saved on the back end by the LotusScript agent, thus causing the issue. The documents could not have been saved in the front end.

Troubleshooting steps:

In the document view, highlight the troubled document and press CTRL+E to open the document in Edit mode.
(Notes: Saving the document at this time will again give the error above.)

1. Delete the data in the first field.
2. Press ESC. The error occurs.
3. Delete the data in the next field.
4. Press ESC. The error occurs.
5. Repeat this procedure until this message appears: "Do you want to save your changes?"
6. Note that the last field(s) deleted has the wrong data type.
7. Go into the design of the form that created this document.
8. For each known field(s) select it then select Field > Field Properties and change the Type from 'Text' to 'Rich Text'.
9. Save the form.

Now, when the agent runs and changes or creates the document, it will allow editing.

Cross reference information
Segment Product Component Platform Version Edition
Messaging Applications IBM Domino Designer Not Applicable 8.0, 7.0, 6.5, 6.0, 5.0, 4.6

Historical Number


Product Alias/Synonym

Lotus Notes Client
Lotus Domino Designer Client
Notes Designer for Domino

Document information

More support for: IBM Notes

Software version: 4.6, 5.0, 6.0, 6.5, 7.0, 8.0

Operating system(s): Linux, Windows, iOS

Reference #: 1093449

Modified date: 04 October 2007

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