From the Comments: A Better Way to Embed Paragraph Numbers

Recently, I wrote about a technique that I’d stumbled across for embedding the current paragraph number within the text of a paragraph, like so:


However, one reader popped up in the comments with what looks like an easier solution:

There’s an easier way to do this! At least in Word 2007 and later. Rather than messing with fields, on the Ribbon you go to References>Cross-reference, select the paragraph you want, and voila! Instant reference. You can even have it insert the full context for your subparagraphs (e.g. para. 7(c)), rather than having to have 2 fields.bking

What do you think? Will this help you in your work? Let me know in the comments below.

About the Author

I spend an inordinate amount of my time playing with computers and attempting to explain technology to lawyers and law office staff. It's not always easy, but someone's got to do it.

Aprile Morgan

This seems to be quicker but I prefer using the field because then I can just copy and paste the text from the first paragraph containing the field which puts the same number in each time but then allI have to do is select the text and depress F9 to update them. You cannot do this with cross references. Just a matter of preference I guess.

PB Coleman

Cross References are also field codes, and I use them when I really need to insert a reference to a page or paragraph, particularly in legal documents.
I opt for ListNum fields if it is just a basic numbered list vs. outline levels.
Alt Ctrl L will insert a default number field. Right click that first inserted number and edit the field to select a different number style or restart the number level.
Number Default – 1)
Legal Default – 1.
Outline Default – I. (Roman Numeral)
There are other numbering fields with more options, but ListNum has always been a quick option for me.

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