Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. 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: Changing Dialog Box Pull-Down List Item Order.

Changing Dialog Box Pull-Down List Item Order

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 8, 2020)

Sue uses a lot of cross-references (tables, figures, headings, numbered items, etc.) in her documents. In the Cross-Reference dialog box (References | Cross-reference) the top item in the Insert Reference To pull-down list is, invariably, not the one she uses. This requires her to go through an extra step to select what she wants before adding the cross-reference. For example, when she wants to add a cross-reference to a table or figure, the top item in the list (which is the default) is Entire Caption. However, her usual selection is Only Label and Number. Sue wonders if there is a way to change the order of the items in the Insert Reference To pull-down list within the Cross-Reference dialog box.

While it is possible to customize some options in Word, the pull-down lists and information within dialog boxes are hard coded into the program. This means that they cannot be changed through any routine configuration changes in Word. The only way around this is to bypass the dialog box completely by recording a macro that accomplishes what you want done. Then, when you later need to add your cross-reference you can use the macro to do the "heavy lifting" for you.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8022) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Changing Dialog Box Pull-Down List Item Order.

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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