Compound Numbering

How to make compound numbering update automatically when a new compound is added (Microsoft Word)

This guide describes a method for numbering chemical compounds in word documents that will automatically update all of the compound numbers if a new compound is added anywhere in the sequence. Although it is a little more involved to set up, your compound numbers will then behave just like footnotes/ endnotes. They can be cross referenced and will automatically update when a new one is added. This method is known to work well with Office 2007 on PCs running Vista or Windows 7 but has not been tested with other Office versions or operating systems.

Here is a sentence with the first compound in my document. I want to make nacnacPtMe3 compound 1.

Place the curser between the parentheses then on the “Insert tab”, use the “quick parts” drop down menu to select “field”.

A dialogue box will appear. In the “Field names” box, select “SEQ”. Then click “options”.

Another dialogue box will appear. In the “Formatting” box, highlight “1, 2, 3, ...”. Then click “Add to Field”.

Now you need to give the sequence a name. Type the name after “SEQ” in the “Field codes” box. This will never appear in the document but you will need to type it every time you add another compound. I used “compounds” in this example but you could choose something shorter. Then click “OK” in the “Field options” dialogue box and “OK” in the “Field” dialogue box.

Now the number should appear in the document. But most likely you will need to refer back to this compound several times, and you want all instances of this compound to update together if a new compound is added earlier in the document. To do this you will need to create a bookmark. Highlight the compound number then on the “Insert” tab click “Bookmark”.

A “Bookmark” dialogue will appear. In the “Bookmark name” box, give your bookmark a name. This text will never appear in the document. I’ve found the naming rules to be a little fussy but once it has something it likes (avoid spaces and punctuation and start with a letter), the “Add” button will become active. Click it.

You’re done. Now a few sentences later you want to refer back to compound 1. On the “Insert” tab, click “cross reference”.

A dialogue box will appear (the same one you would use to cross reference footnotes or end notes”. Select “bookmark” as the reference type and highlight the bookmark you want to reference. Then click “Insert”.

Using this method will take a little more time up front, but it is great for those times when you have a document with 15 compounds in it and then your advisor says that that random side product should be number 4. Rather than having to retype all the compound numbers for compounds 5-15, you can just add the new compound, select all the text and on a PC press F9 to update all the subsequent numbers. As with footnotes/endnotes, it is important to keep track of which instance of the number is the original and which are cross references.

created April 2011- Margaret Scheuermann