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How do I create a breadcrumb trail header in Word (eg Heading1 - Heading2 - Heading3

Posted on 2008-10-13
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
I have a large Word Document that needs a customised header.  I need to show the reader on every page where they are within the document.  I am consistently using Heading styles so I would like to have a header like this:
heading1 - heading2 - heading3 - page_num
I hope that makes sense.  To me it seems a fairly basic requirement that isn't available prebuilt within Word.
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Question by:ochristmas
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EricFletcher earned 200 total points
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You can use the STYLEREF field codes to do this. In your header, choose Insert | Field, and select the Styleref field. From the options that get displayed on the right, select Heading 1 and OK. Add your punctuation and repeat for each of the other 2 headings and end with the page number field.

Styleref will display the content of the last instance of the named style. You can choose options to modify how Word looks for the style on the page (from Help, look for "STYLEREF field switches" for details).
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by:silviomel
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Use the customize page number field to create custom headers if that makes any sense.  In other words use custom page number field and type the custom headers that you would like for each page.  In addition you can add an additional page field code for the page number.
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by:ochristmas
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Thanks for that EricFletcher.  My only issue with the solution is you have to decide the depth of the breadcrumb across the board.  By this I mean:
If one section of the site goes to 5 levels and later it goes to just 2 it still adds the 3 old sub-levels.  Does that make sense?
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by:EricFletcher
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Yes, that is a limitation.

I suppose if you were using numbering with the headings, it may be possible to use IF fields to determine if the current levels were all the same, and not include any sublevels that had a number lower than the level 1... I haven't tried that, but I'm sure it would be complicated!

Another workaround might be to pad the content with empty headings to the level you want to breadcrumb whenever you change up to a different level. The STYLEREF field would then display the empty paragraph's content. If you used an IF field, you could test for an empty result and suppress the following dash separator.

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