Field codes: Seq (Sequence) field

The Seq (Sequence) field sequentially numbers chapters, tables, figures, and other items in a document. If you add, delete, or move an item and its respective Seq field, you can update remaining Seq fields in the document to reflect the new sequence.

The ListNum field also produces automatic numbering and may be a better alternative if you are creating a complex numbered list.

The easiest way to insert Seq fields to number tables, figures, and other items in a document is to use the Caption command by clicking Insert Caption in the Captions group on the References tab.

Note: A Seq field in a header, footer, annotation, or footnote doesn't affect the sequence numbering that results from Seq fields in the document text.


When you view the Seq field in your document, the syntax looks like this:

{ SEQ Identifier [Bookmark ] [Switches ] }

Note:  A field code tells the field what to show. Field results are what’s shown in the document after having evaluated the field code. To toggle between viewing the field code and the field code results, press Alt+F9.



The name you assign to a series of items to number. The name must start with a letter and is limited to 40 characters (letters, numbers, and underscores). For example, the name for a series of tables might be "tables."


Include a bookmark name to refer to an item elsewhere in the document. For example, to cross-reference an illustration, mark the Seq field numbering for that illustration with the bookmark "Pic2," and then insert a cross-reference to it using { SEQ illust Pic2 }.



Repeats the closest preceding sequence number. This is useful for inserting chapter numbers in headers or footers.


Hides the field result. Use it to refer to a Seq field in a cross-reference without printing the number. For example, you might want to refer to a numbered chapter but not print the chapter number. The \h switch doesn't hide the field result if a Format (\*) switch is also present.


Inserts the next sequence number for the specified items. This is the default.

\r n

Resets the sequence number to the specified number n. For example, { SEQ figure \r 3 } starts figure numbering at 3.


Resets the sequence number at the heading level following the "s". For example, { SEQ figure \s 2 } starts numbering at the Heading 2 style.


If you didn't use styles to format document headings, you can number chapter headings by inserting a Seq field at the beginning of each chapter:

  • The text and field "Chapter { SEQ chapter }" produces a result such as "Chapter 3."

  • To print the chapter number in a header or footer, use the \c switch:

  • Page { SEQ chapter \c } - { PAGE } produces a result such as "Page 3 - 1".

Connect with an expert
Contact us
Expand your skills
Explore training

Was this information helpful?

Thank you for your feedback!

Thank you for your feedback! It sounds like it might be helpful to connect you to one of our Office support agents.