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Use of If field in Microsoft Word

Adding Fields to a document is one of the core technology that makes Microsoft Word different from other word processors. They are truly very practical and can solve many “unsolvable” problems and you can make your documents more “intelligent.”

Now consider you are writing a book with Microsoft Word and you want page numbers to start actually from the 3rd page, i.e. the first two pages should not be numbered and the actual “page 1” starts from the 3rd page.

You can do that following these steps:

1. Move your cursor to the place where you want to insert page numbers at the header or footer.
2. Press Ctrl+F9 to insert a Field, a


sign will appear. Notice all the following {} cannot be typed. You should always insert them by pressing Ctrl+F9 or clicking Add a Field in the menu.
3. Create a nesting field like this

{if {page} < 3 "" {page}-2}

4. Select the whole field and press Shift+F9 to enjoy the results.

{if {page} < 3 "" {page}-2}

This means that if the page number is smaller than 3 (that is 1 and 2), page numbers will not show, otherwise page number will show {page}-2 (3 shows as page 1).

Paraphrase it in English, it will be “if the page number is smaller than 3, output nothing(""), otherwise output a number that is page number minus 2.

To summarize the If field:

 { IF Expression1 Operator Expression2 TrueText FalseText } 

There should always be a SPACE between “{page}”, “<”, “3”. It should be “if {page} < 3” not “if {page}<3”. And there should be NO SPACE at “{page}-2”. It took quite some time to figure this out. This is because Expression1 Operator Expression2 is considered as three elements not one and SPACE is used to separate different elements.

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