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: Setting Up an Array with Fields.

Setting Up an Array with Fields

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated August 8, 2019)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


There may be a time when you need to create an "array" in the middle of a sentence. For instance, you may need to have a 3 x 3 "mini table" within a sentence. Using an actual table can be unwieldy, particularly if you literally want the array in-line within your sentence.

If you have such a special need, try this out:

  1. Determine how many columns you want in your array.
  2. Determine the elements to appear in each cell of the array.
  3. Position the insertion pointer where you want the array to appear.
  4. Press Ctrl+F9 to insert a pair of field braces.
  5. Enter your field so that it appears as shown here:
{ EQ \a \ac \co3 (One,Two,Three,Four,Five,Six,Seven,Eight) }
  • With the insertion point still within the field (between the braces), press F9. Word collapses the field.
  • When putting together your field, the \a switch indicates you are creating an array. The \ac switch indicates you want the information in each cell centered (you can also use \al for left alignment or \ar for right alignment). The \co3 switch indicates you want three columns in this array; you can (and should) change the number in the switch to reflect the number of actual columns you want in the array. Finally, the information within the parentheses represents the text to appear in each cell of the array, top to bottom and left to right. As shown in this example, the resulting array will be three columns by three rows.

    You can also add some spacing switches to the field, if desired. For instance, if you wanted four points of space both vertically and horizontally between the array cells, you could add \vs4 \hs4 to the field.

    It is hard to describe the effects of setting up an array. The best way to understand it is simply to try it. You may very well find many instances when you can use arrays in your own documents.

    WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (550) 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: Setting Up an Array with Fields.

    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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