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How to Add Paragraph to Numbered List and Update Cross Reference?

Posted on 2013-01-02
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Last Modified: 2013-03-16
Hi All

It seems my new years resolution is to torture myself with MS Word... current issue is with numbered lists.

If I make a list like this:

1. line A
2. line B
3. line C

and then try to put in a cross reference...  for more info on "A" see line '1'  (where '1' is a field that cross references back to "1. line A"),  I am unable to add a new line 1 without destroying the integrity of my cross ref...  i.e. the text "line A" moves to line "2." but even though the cross reference was specific to the text it remains associated with line 1.

This issue is only a problem for the first line as it is easy to add new lines after a paragraph.  

Is this a common frustration with a work around?  

Cheers, S
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Question by:DrTribos
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19 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Chris Bottomley
ID: 38739122
It's an issue because the cross reference is associated with the paragraph rather than the text.  In the rare times I have this issue I simply cut and paste the first para after the second and that maintains rthe link correctly.

Chris
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Expert Comment

by:GrahamSkan
ID: 38739375
You can chose 'Paragraph number' in the 'Insert reference to' dropdown.

If you still want the paragraph text to appear, you could use two adjacent references, one to display the text, and the other to display the number.
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Author Comment

by:DrTribos
ID: 38739468
Hi Chris -

I will see if I can come up with some code to achieve this... unfortunately the ppl using my documents are generally word illiterate so I need to find something robust, even if it is detection of an incorrectly referenced item due to paragraph insertion...

Hi Graham -

The problem is that if I have a cursor "I" and put it here:

1.1 ISome Text         <-- i.e. the cursor 'I' is infront of "Some Text" at the top of page

and then press enter, the cross reference should update to 1.2, but instead the text moves to 1.2 and the cross reference (which is located elsewhere) remains 1.1 which is now a blank line.  Invariably the ppl using my documents will fail to notice this...

Cheers, S
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Expert Comment

by:Brian B
ID: 38816245
I think this might help: You can add a soft carriage return (i.e. not a paragraph) by using Shift+Enter. I use this all the time to keep certain blocks of text together, or text with a picture.

If you view paragraph marks, you'll see the difference.
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Author Comment

by:DrTribos
ID: 38816841
Hi TBone2K

Thanks for the suggestion... I really need to get a new paragraph so can not use soft return, additionally it would not be feasible to use soft return as there are many users of my template who will trip up on such a thing.

Thanks
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Expert Comment

by:Saqib Husain, Syed
ID: 38817693
I am struggling to digest your explanation. Would it be possible to upload a small word file demonstrating your problem?
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Author Comment

by:DrTribos
ID: 38817973
Hi, here is a sample file...

The challenge is to add a new Heading 1 at the top of the page and preserve the integrity of the cross references.  To my way of thinking although the cross is to the paragraph number it is actually the information in the paragraph, not the paragraph number, that is of interest.  Therefore adding a line at the top of the page should change the ref to line 1 into a 2, as that is where the information is... instead it stays a 1 (but the rest change by +1).

Hope this helps...

Cheers,
Line-1.docx
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Expert Comment

by:Chris Bottomley
ID: 38818160
In word terms the cross reference is to the paragraph not the text but if you are having user issues then changing the approach just for the first heading will likely not help.  Can you distill the potential edits that have to be accommodated?

Chris
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Author Comment

by:DrTribos
ID: 38821398
Hi Chris...  

The document is basically a series of numbered lists... users will add and subtract items from the lists and some times this will occur at the top of the list...  Perhaps I can "protect" the first line in each list to force the user to use a macro... not really sure how to protect a document in that way (or if it is even possible).

Cheers,
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Expert Comment

by:Saqib Husain, Syed
ID: 38821473
Can you not just enter someting like a title at the beginning which is not supposed to be changed?
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Author Comment

by:DrTribos
ID: 38821478
Yes....that is one solution that I am already considering... I would have to use a style that has my numbered style as the "following style"... this however will take up space and will not be intuitive...
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Expert Comment

by:Martin Liss
ID: 38906152
I've requested that this question be deleted for the following reason:

The question has either no comments or not enough useful information to be called an "answer".
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LVL 59

Expert Comment

by:Chris Bottomley
ID: 38906153
My understanding of the question is to add a paragraph to the start of the numbered list and see the cross reference to the original text move to the new paragraph.  The answer is it cannot be done except by some low level editing ... and this is beyond what the askers users want.

This being so there is plenty of information and the information is:

1. No it cannot be done easily: http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/Office_Productivity/Office_Suites/MS_Office/Word/Q_27983282.html#a38739122

2. It can be 'fiddled' but this is beyond the scope of the requirement: Same link as supported by the askers response to that post.

Chris
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Author Comment

by:DrTribos
ID: 38907220
Hi All - Sorry that this has gotten to "Abandoned" status.  I have been away for a week and battling other VBA issues... the relevant message went through to the keeper. Anyway, I am still working on this and hopeful of an answer.  

Chris - right now I am thinking along the lines of detecting the issue and repairing instead of preventing.  I will be providing a button to add a new line item and this will (somehow) add a new #1 and update everything properly but as I said earlier (and I think most here well know) users will not appreciate the need to use the button and so ability to detect and repair will be required.

By way of detection I think bookmarks spaning each para could be used. If it is found that a bookmark suddenly spans more than 1 para then we know the user has NOT used the button.  AND if there is a cross ref to the book mark range (particularly paras other than the 1st in the range)  then there is high potential for an incorrect reference.

Anyway, that's where my thinking is at on this...

Cheers,
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Accepted Solution

by:
Chris Bottomley earned 350 total points
ID: 38992422
Apologies, i've been lax with this and should have posted an update therefore to try and clarify:

The purpose of the question is to try and prevent a heading that has is the subject of a cross reference from being split into more than one heading.

The short answer is that allowing for the heading to be entered as free text means you cannot really prevent the paragraph from being split.  It is conceptually possible to detect the fact that it is split, (as in your later question) and that therefore it is also possible using events to prompt the user to correct their ways shouold they do this.

The options that immediately spring to mind are:

1. Check the document on save which has minimal interactive processing overheads
2. Check the document at every operation, (not sure how many events can be handled with the events mechanism) ansd if it is split then prompt the user to correct the action before it is lost in a flurry of edits.

Chris
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Author Closing Comment

by:DrTribos
ID: 38992697
I now accept that it can not be prevented but detection is viable - thanks
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