Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Using RD Fields with Chapter Headings.

Using RD Fields with Chapter Headings

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 20, 2021)

When putting together complex documents, it is not unusual to break the document into small, manageable parts (such as chapters or sections) and store each of these in its own document file. When it comes time to create an index or table of contents for these different documents, you can use the RD field to reference the different component documents.

One problem with this approach is that if you use Word's heading numbering feature to number your heads in each referenced document, then updating the template sheet for the documents can play havoc with the heading numbering in all your documents. For instance, if you use automatic heading numbering to assign the chapter number, then update the template for the documents, the numbering you assigned is all reset.

One way around this problem is to use different field types. In this method you use the SEQ field to control your chapter number references. This field allows you to set up a sequence counter for your documents. Most often it is used for different sorts of counting references within a single document. However, you could also use it for your chapter number references across multiple documents. For instance, let's say the second chapter was named "Reflections on My Life." The following would be the way you would code the chapter header, at the beginning of the chapter's document:

Chapter {SEQ chap \r2} Reflections on My Life

In this case, "chap" is the sequence identifier, and \r indicates that the sequence starts with the number following it. Thus, the only difference for other chapters would be to change the number following the \r switch and the chapter title. It is very important to make sure that your sequence identifier is the same in each chapter file. (You wouldn't want to use "chap" in one file and "chapter" in another.)

In the header or footer of each chapter (wherever your page numbers occur) you can then use the following:

{SEQ chap \c}-{PAGE}

This results in the same sequence number (your chapter) being used over and over again, followed by a dash and the actual page number. When you put together the document for your TOC, you can include your RD fields to reference the chapter documents, and then include a TOC field similar to the following:

{TOC \o"1-2" \f  \l"1-2" \s chap}

The important part in this field is the inclusion of the \s chap switch. This tells Word to utilize the sequence identifier you set up in each file (in this case, "chap"). If desired, you can create your TOC field using the Index and Tables option from the Insert menu. You can then modify the resulting TOC field to make sure it includes the \s switch.

When creating your index, you use method similar to creating your TOC. The field for your index may look similar to the following:

{INDEX \c "2" \s chap  \h "-----  A  -----"}

Notice the important use of the \s switch, again.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8557) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Using RD Fields with Chapter Headings.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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