Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. 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: Setting Defaults in the Cross-reference Dialog Box.

Setting Defaults in the Cross-reference Dialog Box

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 26, 2015)

Michael uses cross-references quite a bit. To do so, he displays the Cross-reference dialog box by displaying the References tab of the ribbon and clicking the Cross-reference tool. Then, in the dialog box, he chooses Bookmark from the Reference Type drop-down, Page Number from the Insert Reference To drop-down, and clears the Insert as Hyperlink check box. These settings don't need to be chosen every time he displays the Cross-reference dialog box, but every time he starts a new session with Word. Making these initial changes to the dialog box gets a bit tiresome, so Michael was wondering if there was a way to specify defaults for the dialog box.

Unfortunately, there is not. A macro could easily be written to set the defaults, but you would need to open the dialog box through the use of the macro rather than the ribbon tools. An easier approach would be to just create your own cross-references, without the use of the ribbon tools at all.

The next time you insert a cross-reference, take a moment to look at it in your document. It is nothing but a field; if you select the cross-reference and then press Shift+F9, you can see the field code used by Word to implement the cross-reference. It should look something like this, where MyBookmark is the name of the bookmark being referenced:

{pageref MyBookmark}

You can create your own cross-reference by simply following these steps:

  1. At the location where you want the cross-reference, press Ctrl+F9 to insert a pair of field braces. The insertion point should be in the middle of the braces.
  2. Type pageref and a space.
  3. Type the name of the bookmark to be referenced.
  4. Press F9 to update the field.

That's it. It is very quick and easy, provided you know the name of the bookmark you want to reference. If you don't, then you can find the bookmark by pressing Shift+Ctrl+F5 to display the Bookmark dialog box. You can then select the bookmark, press Ctrl+C to copy the name, click Cancel (or press Esc) to dismiss the Bookmark dialog box, and then press Ctrl+V to paste the name of the bookmark into the field you are creating.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10224) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Setting Defaults in the Cross-reference Dialog Box.

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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