Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. 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: Field Reference to Number of Prior Pages.

Field Reference to Number of Prior Pages

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 18, 2017)

Stephanie has a document comprising two sections. The first section consists of a single title page. The second section is quite long, and at several points in the document Stephanie has text that states "...see information in the preceding X pages." She is looking for a field to use in the place of "X" so that the text always shows the number of pages prior to the page on which the field appears, without counting the title page (first section).

If the page numbering is continuous, you could just use a nested field like this:

{ = { page } - 2 }

This would give the current page in the document, minus one for the current page and minus one for the title page that you don't want to count. If page numbering restarts in section 2, you would use the following nested field instead:

{ = { page } - 1 }

If your document becomes more complex by adding additional sections (more than the two described), and each section could re-start page numbering, then the job is more difficult. The solution is to add a field that looks like this somewhere in each section:

{ sectionpages }

Select the field and format it as hidden text so that it won't show up in the final document. In addition, select the field and give it a bookmark name. These bookmarks should have names such as "section1count," "section2count," etc.

With the fields bookmarked, you now have a way to know how many pages are in each of your sections. This means that you can build the "preceding X pages" field in the following manner:

{ = { page } — 1 + { ref section1count } + { ref section2count } }

Remember that you can enter empty field braces into a document by pressing Ctrl+F9.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10604) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Field Reference to Number of Prior Pages.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Adding Addresses To a Set of Address Labels

Got a bunch of pages labels and you need to insert a label into the middle of the bunch? This isn't easy to do in Word, ...

Discover More

Differences between Deleting, Clearing, and Cutting

When getting rid of text from your document, Word allows you to delete, clear, or cut. Here are the differences between ...

Discover More

Rounded Corners on Cells

As you are formatting a worksheet, Excel allows you to easily add borders to cells. Adding rounded corners to cells is a ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Removing Specific Fields

Word allows you to place all sorts of fields in your documents. If you want to search for only specific types of fields, ...

Discover More

Unwanted Page Breaks in Cross-References

You can use fields to cross-reference different text in a document. If you get unwanted results from the ...

Discover More

Monday's Date on Friday's Report

Automatically putting today's date at the top of a report is easy. Putting a different date, automatically, can be more ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is eight minus 8?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.