Creating a List of Cross-References

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated February 2, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


2

Guy is a technical editor working on long technical reports. There are LOTS of cross-references. He needs to verify that every figure/table is cross-referenced in the body text. Guy can't seem to find any information about making a list of all cross-references in a document so wonders if there is a way to do it.

There is no way to do this natively within Word, but you could come up with some sort of workaround. For instance, assuming your cross references to figures and tables are automatically numbered by Word, you could place an index entry field (Alt+Shift+X) next to each cross-reference field and then generate an index. That would provide a list of all your cross-references, and you could update the index, as necessary, if you make changes to your cross-references.

Another solution, however, is to use a third-party add-in to handle your cross references. One that is worth checking out is DocTools CrossReferenceManager. It can generate a list of all cross-references, including backlinks to the original document. (It can do more than that, but this specific capability provides a solution to Guy's original query.) More information about the add-in can be found here:

https://wordaddins.com/products/cross-references/

The add-in is not free, but it does come with a 15-day trial period.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (2574) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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Comments

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What is seven more than 9?

2023-10-30 14:33:38

ClancyCat

FWIW, DocTools will *not* work for index x-refs, only for "typical' x-refs inserted into the body text of a Word file, like "see Table 2.x." The developer is very helpful but this is a function whch is NOT included at all. I bought it andtried it and was extremely disappointed to find out ath Indices are a "whole 'nother thang," Unfortuante. I'm still trying to count index x-refs!


2019-07-14 03:20:30

Ken Endacott

Here is a simple way of checking references to tables and figures. The macro below highlights in yellow all figure and table captions that are referenced at least once. By scrolling down the document, captions that are not highlighted and hence haven't been referenced can be seen. The macro also highlights in red, references that do not have a corresponding table or figure caption or bookmark. The macro is non specific and will highlight any referenced bookmark.

Sub CheckTableAndFigureReferences()
Dim j As Long
Dim f As Field
Dim fCode As String
Dim bkMrk As String
ActiveDocument.Range.HighlightColorIndex = wdNoHighlight
For j = 1 To ActiveDocument.Fields.Count
Set f = ActiveDocument.Fields(j)
If f.Type = wdFieldRef Then
fCode = Trim(f.Code)
bkMrk = Trim(Mid(fCode, InStr(fCode, " ")))
If ActiveDocument.Bookmarks.Exists(bkMrk) Then
ActiveDocument.Bookmarks(bkMrk).Range.HighlightColorIndex = wdYellow
Else
f.Result.HighlightColorIndex = wdRed
End If
End If
Next j
MsgBox "Finished checking references"
End Sub


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