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This paper proposes a method for obtaining approximate, but very accurate, three-dimensional (3-D) head fields for perpendicular magnetic recording heads. The method uses an assumed form for the scalar magnetic potential variation between a pole or shield and the underlayer to give the potential in the head/shields-face plane. It then uses this approximate air-bearing surface potential to find the potential or field components at any other position of interest. The approach is illustrated here by applying it to a symmetric double-shielded single-pole head with an underlayer and with side shields.