Word’s nifty {seq} field

I am a big fan of MS Word 2010’s { seq } field. It defines a sequence of numbers or letters, and you can have more than one sequence by differentiating between bookmarks.

So, say that I’m drafting discovery responses, and I have a bunch of exhibits. Instead of depending on my eyes to make certain the exhibits have been named in sequence when I get to that final draft, I just type “Exhibit Ctrl+F9[1] seq ‘bookmark'” and am done with it.

In the example picture below, I named my bookmark ‘intex’ for ‘interrogatory exhibit’. The first field would appear as ‘1’, because I did not include any formatting switches. The second and third examples both have the \* ALPHABETIC switch, which forces Word to display the number as a capital letter.[2] Once you have added the { seq } field, you can right click on it, and Word will bring up a dialogue through which you can choose specific options.

The { seq } field used for interrogatory exhibit numbers.


  1. [1]Remember that Word requires the Ctrl+F9 keystroke to add a field; you can’t just type the squiggly brackets and expect it to recognize the field
  2. [2]\* alphabetic would display a lowercase letter.

Word’s ‘Next’ Field

I figured it out, finally. (Or, I read page 569 of  Microsoft Word 2010 In Depth by Faithe Wempen.)

In order to have more than one address appear on one document in a Word merge (for example, selecting three addresses in Outlook for one hearing notice instead of each address being used on a separate notice, which would be the default behavior), use the field { next } followed by whatever your mergefields are. You can insert the field by either typing Ctrl+F9 (which inserts the field markers {}) and “next”, or by using the Rules dropdown menu in Mailings>Write and Insert Fields (Next Record). You must remember to add the fields after { next }, because otherwise Word will leave that spot blank.

Here’s the code that I use for my notices (the first, of course, does not have the “next” in front of it):

{ next }{ if{ mergefield full_name } <> "" "{
if{ mergefield company } <> "" "{
mergefield company }
Attn: { mergefield full_name }
{ mergefield Mailing_Address }" "{
mergefield Full_Name }{ if{
mergefield Job_Title } <> "" "
{ mergefield Job_Title }
{ mergefield Mailing_Address }" "
{ mergefield Mailing_Address }" }"
}" "{ mergefield Company }
{ mergefield Mailing_Address }" }

Because I have conditionals coded and it’s really messy to attempt to read and understand, the following describes the above in plain English:

* If the contact has an Full Name and a Company, type
Attn: Full Name
Mailing Address
* Otherwise, if there is a Full Name but no Company, type
Full Name (if there is a Job Title such as ‘Attorney at Law’, put that on the next line, but otherwise do nothing)
Mailing Address
* Finally, if there is a Company name but no Full Name type
Mailing Address

This allows me, with the same code for each address, to have the client’s address, the clerk’s address, and the State’s Attorney’s address appear as they should, without having to fiddle with them after completing the merge.

Remember, if you want to use these fields in your document, Word won’t recognize the code if you copy and paste. You must insert the fields either by the menu or by typing Ctrl + F9 and then typing the field code.