Using the Advance Field in MS Word

Most of my clients are a bit shy about using fields, mainly because they do not know how and so they are skittish about it.  But they also do not know the power of fields in Word. Otherwise, they would be using them more often. Fields allow you to control some features in Word.

You can have some fun with fields in Word as well. The Advance field is one that can be very interesting, useful and yes, fun. This particular field is used to position the text that follows it. You can use it for every word in a line or one or two. Yes, you can always use the Supercript commmand, but using the field is a bit better, defintiely more fun and it can give you some very interesting effects as well.

Say you are creating a flyer or a cover page for an article and you want to draw interest; make the reader’s eye be immediately drawn to your text. You can make each word in s sentence move up by six points from the word preceeding it – just by using the Advance field!

Follow the steps below to learn how:

  1. Before every word in your sentence, do this:
  2. Click Ctrl + F9 to give you a pair of brackets.  It is very important that you do this exactly as I have told you.  If you manually insert the brackets this will not work for you.
  3. Inside the brackets key in { ADVANCE \\u 6 }. Do this before every word in your sentence and the result looks like stair steps!

There are other switches you can use in the Advance field which are listed below:

\\d – Moves text down a specified number of points.

\\l – Moves text left a specified number of points.

\\r – Moves text right a specified number of points.

\\x – Moves text a specified distance from the left margin of your column or frame.

\\y – Moves your text to the specified vertical position relative to the your current line position. The  entire line of text that contains the field will be moved.

The steps above can be used in versions 2003, 2007, 2010


6 thoughts on “Using the Advance Field in MS Word”

  1. Carol … I used to use this function all of the time … but it failed on me when I moved to Office 2007 and I find that I can’t get it to work … even with your instructions. I am now on Office 2010.

    So, even though you stated “… do this exactly as I have told you. …. 3.Inside the brackets key in { ADVANCE u 6 }.” You really don’t mean that I should type a Bracket inside the field bracket … do you? You mean type “ADVANCE u 6” without the quotation marks … right?

    I reread your instuctions a lot of times … and I tried it both ways (with and without the brackets inside the brackets) … and it doesn’t advance the text anywhere? Asw I said … it broke on me a long time ago. Any ideas?

  2. OK .. I’ll answer my own question … I should have researched this when I thought it “broke” years ago … 🙂

    Between the field brackets (CTRL-F9) … the correct syntax is “ADVANCE \u 6” … without the quotation marks … and now it works … the difference being the “\”.

    Another helpful hint with fields is that you can use ALT-F9 to make the fields visible and hidden … so you can see what you’ve typed and update it.

    I hope that my comments help.

    1. Hi Aussie,

      The forward slash is in my instructions. The switch would not work without the slash. I apologize if my instructions were not clear regarding the brackets. I was only showing you what the field should look like when you are finished, but I will certainly keep this in mind when next giving instructions regarding fields. Also, a quicker to see what your field actually looks liks is: right-click your field and select Toggle Field Codes. Simply right-click again when you are finished and your field will be toggled again.

  3. I don’t see the slash in your original instructions.

    Do the actual words go inside the bracket with the ADVANCE \u 6 quote or outside the bracket? This simply isn’t working for me so far.

    1. Apologies here, for some reason WordPress does not play nice with backslashes. The backslashes display fine when in editor mode but disappear from view when the article is actually published… weird.

      The workaround is to input two backslashes instead of one when typing in editor mode, this then will display the required one backslash when published… don’t ask me why. 🙂

      This article is now complete with the correct backslashes.

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