Keeping Fields and Text Together

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 23, 2016)

Fields are a great boon for developing interactive documents. One common use of fields is to create cross-references to other parts of a document. When inserting a cross-reference field, you may have some type of special identifying text that you need to always follow the field. To keep the field and the identifying text together, you separate the two by a non-breaking space.

Non-breaking spaces are used to control how Word automatically wraps text at the end of a line. The non-breaking space ensures that the text before the space and the text after the space are always on the same line. In the case of fields, however, this doesn't seem to work. Instead, Word blithely wraps text right at the non-breaking space.

This is frustrating, but it appears to be the way that older versions of Word are designed. For some reason, the field before the non-breaking space is not viewed as "text," so Word ignores the non-breaking space. The only way around this is to create your document as you normally would (with the cross-references), and then look through the document to find any instances where the cross-reference is on one line and the identifying text on the next. You can then insert a line break character just before the field so that it is forced to the next line.

The drawback to this, obviously, is that if you edit your document or if the cross-references change, you'll need to go through and remove the line breaks to make sure that the text wrapping still makes sense.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (7656) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

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

Rounded Table Edges

Tables can be a great addition to many documents, as they allow you to arrange and present information in a clear and concise ...

Discover More

Inserting Footnotes Using Custom Footnote Marks

Automatic footnotes are easy to insert in Word documents. The default settings are usually fine for most projects. However, ...

Discover More

Opening a Template

If you have a template stored on disk, you can open it and make changes to it just as you do other documents. This tip ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

MORE WORDTIPS (MENU)

Auto-incrementing Form Fields

Templates are a great way to create new documents because they act as intricate patterns to what those new documents should ...

Discover More

Inserting the Current Month

Need to add the name of the current month to your document? Word includes a field that can make the addition easy, and it ...

Discover More

Inserting the Total Number of Characters in Your Document

One of the things that Word keeps track of regarding your document is the number of characters it contains. Using 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 for this tip:

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. 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 seven minus 6?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


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.

Links and Sharing
Share