Formatting LSA Style Linguistic Data Citations in Microsoft Word

Academic papers in the field of linguistics are often written folowing LSA style, which is the style used in Language, the journal of the Language Society of America. One of the aspects of style that is fairly unique to linguistics writing is the way linguistic data is presented. The following quatation is from the Language style sheet:

a. Type each numbered item on a separate indented line with the number in parentheses; indent after the number; use lowercase letters to group sets of related items:

(2)  a.  Down the hill rolled the baby carriage.
      b.  Out of the house strolled my mother’s best friend.

b. In the text, refer to numbered items as 2, 2a, 2a,b, 2(a- c).

The Problem

One of the problems I run into when writing long papers, is keeping the numbered examples synchronized with my references to them in the text of the paper. If I add an example, remove an example, or change their order, then I have to go through the whole paper and update the references.

Fortunately, Microsoft Word has a solution to that problem. If you insert a paragraph number (using the “numbered” button, right next to the bullet button) then you can insert cross-references in the text that can be automatically updated. You insert the references by clicking on ‘Insert’, ‘Reference’, ‘Cross-reference’ and then selecting the item you want to cross reference from a list box. But, there’s a potential problem. The format of the cross-reference will be the same as the format of the paragraph (example) number. If the example number has paranthesis around it, so will the cross-refernce. Here’s an example:

The suffix –tit is used to form third person plural pronouns and plural demonstrative pronouns as shown in (2).

(2)  iʃ  –tit     man -ik       or
       this –3PL   I    -3S.Poss  are
       ‘These are mine.’

This is fine, unless you’re using LSA format. In LSA format, the reference in the text should not have parenthesis around it.

The Solution

I searched everywhere for a way to control the formating of the cross-reference in Word, but there is no way to automatically remove the parenthesis. You can delete them by hand, but as soon as you update the cross-reference, the parenthesis reappear. So, my solution was to write a macro that goes through the entire document and removes parenthesis around cross-references. It won’t remove any other parenthesis. This solution has been working quite well for me. Here is the VBA macro:

Sub DeleteParensInXRef() 
   Dim doc As Document 
Dim fld As Field 
Set doc = ActiveDocument   

For Each fld In doc.Fields 
If fld.Type = wdFieldRef Then 
fld.Result.Text = Replace(fld.Result.Text, "(", "") 
fld.Result.Text = Replace(fld.Result.Text, ")", "") 
      End If 

Set fld = Nothing 
   Set doc = Nothing 
End Sub

To add this macro to your document do the following:

  1. Select the text containing the macro in this post.
  2. In the ‘Tools’ menu click on ‘Macros, Visual Basic Editor’.
  3. In the project pane, right click on the project with the name of your doucment and select ‘Insert’, ‘Module’
  4. Double-click on the newly created module (probably named ‘Module 1’) and then right click in the editor pane and select ‘paste’.
  5. Click on the tool-bar button with the floppy disk icon to save the macro with your document.
  6. Close the Visual Basic editor.

To run the macro while editing your document you can click on the menu item ‘Tools’, ‘Macro’, ‘Macros…’ and then double click on ‘DeleteParensInXRef’.

November 10, 2007 Update: Once you have removed the parenthesis and are ready to print your document, you will first need to lock the cross-reference fields. If you don’t lock the fields, they will be updated when you print, and all the parenthesis will reappear. You can lock all the fields in your document by pressing CTRL-F11. You can unlock them by pressing CTRL-SHIFT-F11.

If you have any questions about how to use this macro, or suggestions for improving it, feel free to leave a comment!

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One response to “Formatting LSA Style Linguistic Data Citations in Microsoft Word

  1. Great macro to get rid of those pesky parentheses, worked great for me — how could we modify it so it also removes them for cross-references placed in footnotes?


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