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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Activating the Formula Bar with the Keyboard

Hate to take your hands off the keyboard while working on a worksheet? Here's one way to activate the Formula Bar without ...

Discover More

Automatically Sorting as You Enter Information

When entering information into a worksheet, you may want it to always be in a correctly sorted order. Excel allows you to ...

Discover More

Turning Off Paragraph Hyphenation

Need to make sure that a particular paragraph never has any hyphenated words in it? You can make sure that Word won't ...

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Getting Information About Fields

Want to know what a certain field does and how to use it? Word's online help is surprisingly helpful in getting the ...

Discover More

Maintaining Fields in a Merged Document

When merging documents, you may want to include some fields in the merged documents. For some fields this is impossible, ...

Discover More

Moving Footnote References Using Find and Replace

When you are editing a document, you may need to modify where the author placed footnotes relative to surrounding ...

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}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) 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 three less than 9?

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".


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.