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: Understanding the ADVANCE Field.

Understanding the Advance Field

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 22, 2021)

5

Fields allow you to control special features in Word, or to insert special information in your documents. One of the fields you can use is the Advance field. This field is used for positioning the text that follows the field. All text to the end of the paragraph is affected. For instance, let's say you wanted all the text after the field to be moved up by six points. You could use the following field:

{ ADVANCE \u 6 }

This might not seem like such a big deal, since you can also move text up by using superscript formatting. However, the field can be cumulative, so that you can create some interesting effects. Let's say, for example, that you wanted each word in a sentence to move up by six points from the word before. In this instance, all you need to do is include the above field at the beginning of each word in the sentence. Word formats the text so it appears to be "stair stepping" upwards.

There are several switches you can use with the Advance field, as follow.

Switch Meaning
\d Moves text down a specified number of points.
\l Moves text left a specified number of points. (Text to the left is overwritten.)
\r Moves text right a specified number of points.
\u Moves text up a specified number of points.
\x Moves text a specified distance from the left margin of the column or frame.
\y Moves text to the specified vertical position relative to the current line position. The entire line of text that contains the field is moved.

There is a caveat to keep in mind when it comes to the \y switch—it is ignored by Word if you use the switch in tables, text boxes, footnotes, endnotes, annotations, headers, or footers. In other words, it is pretty much only of use if you use the \y switch with an Advance field that is in the main document.

You should also realize that it is possible for you to use the Advance field to move text outside of the printable margins of your page or even to a different page. If you do so, however, the text affected by the Advance field will not print at all.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (12993) 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: Understanding the ADVANCE Field.

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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Comments

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What is one more than 1?

2021-09-30 15:14:26

Larry Schwartz

My index has a number of entries with sub-entries. Is there a way to keep them from breaking apart over the end of a column or page?


2021-09-29 11:03:46

kdock

The \y switch is no longer supported in O365 with versions 2013 and 2016.


2021-05-24 13:23:08

Phil Reinemann

Andrew, reset at the end of the paragraph is mentioned in the article, but I was thinking of resetting within the paragraph, like in the article it mentions staircase effect of the words, at the end, instead of moving the text down the entire amount (it went up 6 points X 4 words, so I have to bring it down 24 points), instead use \0, or to reset only the up, use \u0 to cancel just the "up".


2021-05-24 10:45:14

Andrew

Phil, after some experimentation, it looks like it gets reset at the end of the paragraph (or a manual line break).

Andy.


2021-05-22 10:44:05

Phil Reinemann

Now this tip provides info I've not seen before. Thank you!

It would be nice if at the end of the moved text you could use /0 (zero) to undo all previous moved text, or /n for "normal".


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