Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Inserting a Cross-Reference to the First Style on a Page.

Inserting a Cross-Reference to the First Style on a Page

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 14, 2015)

Word includes a cross-reference feature that allows you to indicate the contents of a paragraph formatted with a specific style. This is done with fields and is used primarily in headers or footers. For instance, let's suppose your document uses headers or footers that refer to headings appearing on the page. This is frequently done in reference material, and is a great help to the reader. You can use the following steps to set up this type of cross-reference.

  1. Set up your header or footer as you want it to appear.
  2. Position the insertion point within the header or footer where you want the paragraph text to appear.
  3. Press Ctrl+F9 to insert field brackets. Make sure the insertion point stays between the brackets.
  4. Type STYLEREF followed by the name of the formatting style used to format the paragraph you want to cross-reference. The formatting style must be enclosed in quotes.
  5. Press F9 to update the field information. Word replaces the field with the text of the last paragraph you formatted with the specified style.

If you set up your header or footer this way, then every time the contents of the referenced paragraph style changes, the contents of the header or footer will change. For instance, let's say that you are using the Heading 2 style in the field. Every time a new paragraph formatted with the Heading 2 style is encountered in your document, the contents of that paragraph are inserted in place of the field in the header or footer.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (3517) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Inserting a Cross-Reference to the First Style on a Page.

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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