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Just in case somebody else comes here looking for a solution, like I have, this worked for me:

I selected the text I wanted to delete (but was getting this error), and Selected Format > Clear Direct Formatting. Then I was able to press the Delete key and this time the selected text was successfully deleted.

In my scenario, I had a footer that said for example, Page 2 of 1 I couldn't delete the 1 to replace with the field PageCount (which it originally was - I don't know how it got wrong, nor how it got locked). It may originally have been a Word document. I do always save my documents as Microsoft Word 2007-2013 XML (.docx)