Tag Archives for " fields "

6 Referencing the previous paragraph number with SEQ

I’ve been trying to solve a personal problem for a long time.

No, this blog hasn’t suddenly turned “confessional”. No TMI here.

The problem I’m referring to is this:

See that “3” that’s boxed in red above? That’s my problem. I wouldn’t say it’s the bane of my existence, but it still bugs me.

You see, I do a lot of Answers to Complaints in my day job. And I don’t know how you do it where you practice, but in our area, there are always sort of “catch all” paragraphs in the Complaint that we just answer with a standard “yeah, we’re just going to repeat our answer to all the above paragraphs without actually repeating it” statement.

That paragraph in the answer always starts with a reference to Paragraph 1 and ends with a reference to the immediately preceding paragraph. And if I’m using automatic paragraph numbering, that ought to be a breeze, right? If those paragraph numbers are driven by fields (which is all automatic paragraph numbering is), then I should be able to calculate “current paragraph number minus 1”. I’ve learned how to insert the current paragraph number into a paragraph. Why not the previous one?

Except … no. At least not according to the Microsoft MVPs I spoke to:

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How one Legal Office Guru reader is using my SEQ autonumbering technique

I’m always gratified when a solution I’ve come up with (and published) is helping people in the “real world” (as opposed to … what? ?). Sometimes, I find out about it when readers email me to tell me how they’re using a solution in their office. But occasionally, I see increased traffic “click over” from another site and follow the referring link to see what’s going on.

It was the latter scenario that brought this blog post to my attention:


I especially liked three things about this person’s deployment of my “how to autonumber interrogatories using the SEQ field” technique:

  • It updates the technique for Word 2013 users (the original tutorial was published in 2012);
  • The blogger has deployed this throughout his firm using a customized Building Blocks file; and
  • It has video!

So head on over to Remedial Action Law to check it out!

(Post image: © Iqoncept | Dreamstime.comWork Smarter Not Harder Arrow Target Goal Effective Efficient Pr Photo)

2 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.

2 Reader Question: How to embed the current paragraph number in your text

One reader who works in insurance defense law (a woman after my own heart — so do I) asked me this question recently:

In a case where I am automatically numbering the beginning of each paragraph (sometimes up to 100)…and then have to refer to the same paragraph number in the text (e.g., 1. Deny the allegations contained in paragraph “1”), how can I get the number in the text to match the corresponding number of each specific paragraph so that if I have to delete a paragraph, I will not have to go into every paragraph to change the text to say responding to paragraph”2″ to correspond with the actual numbered paragraph? I know it has something to do with using fields in the text.

Again, a woman after my own heart. She’s trying to automate something to minimize the amount of repetitive editing she’ll have to do as the document changes. I like people who think ahead like that.

And she’s right: it does have “something to do with fields in the text.” But which one is appropriate here? The answer may surprise you … and you might find a use for it in your own documents, too.

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20 Reader Question: Type Once, Repeat Many?

Ever had one of those forms that repeats someone’s name or some other piece of information, um, repeatedly? Say, a will or a power of attorney or something similar?

If you’ve tried to make yourself a homegrown forms database, knowing that you’ll have to go in each time and fill in the variable information (name, he/she, his/her, son/daughter/children, etc.) in all (and I do mean all) the right places, then you can appreciate this reader’s dilemma:

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1 How to put a different footer on the last page of a document

With a hat-tip to Susan Harkins at TechRepublic.com, I’m going to show you one of the neatest Word tricks I think I’ve ever seen … and exactly how I’m going to put it to use to solve a long-standing problem: getting something to show up in the footer on every page except the last.

Around our office, we do a lot of wills.  A lot. And the attorneys who do them like for their clients to initial all of the non-signature pages whenever they execute the will itself.  (It keeps anybody from getting cute later and substituting a page before taking it to the Probate Judge.  People are sneaky that way.)  So we put “Initials: _______” in the footer on the right margin so it prints on every page.

I always thought my preferred solution, using Section Breaks, was the last word in solving the problem of how to get that footer text to not show up on the last page.  But noooooo.  Susan’s got a better idea: embedding a custom function in there.

Here’s the video demonstration:

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