Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Field Reference to Number of Prior Pages.

Field Reference to Number of Prior Pages

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 23, 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 (498) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) 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

Calculating Only the Active Workbook

When you enter information into a workbook, Excel automatically recalculates every worksheet in every open workbook on ...

Discover More

Ignoring Paragraph Marks when Pasting

Paste information in a worksheet, and you may end up with Excel placing it into lots of different cells. If you want it ...

Discover More

Counting All Graphics

Need to know how many graphics a document contains? Getting at the true number may take a little more work than it first ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (menu)

Inserting a Cross-Reference to an Item in a List

When you create a list using the SEQ field, you may want to create a cross-reference to an item in that field. You can do ...

Discover More

Controlling Field Shading

If you use fields in your documents, you may want to highlight them in some way so that you can find them easier. Word ...

Discover More

Displaying Fields

Fields (sometimes called field codes) allow you to insert dynamic information in your documents. If you want to see the ...

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 six more than 7?

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 menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon 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.