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: Random OLE Bookmarks.

Random OLE Bookmarks

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated April 6, 2022)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016


1

Cheryl asked why Word sometimes inserts random OLE bookmarks into a document. These bookmarks are sequentially numbered and follow the naming pattern OLE_LINK##.

It appears that these bookmarks are created automatically by Word during some (but not all) cut-and-paste or copy-and-paste operations. If you are using Word 2007, you can visually see the bookmarks if you turn on the bookmark brackets (Tools | Options | View | Bookmarks) or follow these steps if you are using Word 2010 or a later version:

  1. Display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.
  2. Click Advanced and scroll down to Show Document Content. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Show Document Content group of the Advanced options of the Word Options dialog box.

  4. Make sure the Show Bookmarks check box is selected.

Or you can examine the list of bookmarks in the Bookmark dialog box if you choose Insert | Bookmark (Word 2007 or Word 2010) or Insert | Links | Bookmark (Word 2013 or Word 2016.)

Microsoft provides no information in the Knowledge Base as to why these bookmarks are created, but they are a real bother to some people. The bookmarks serve no purpose that I can find and they can be safely deleted. If you want an automatic way to delete them, you can use a macro:

Sub RemoveOLE_marks()
    Dim J As Integer
    For J = ActiveDocument.Bookmarks.Count To 1 Step -1
        If UCase(Left(ActiveDocument.Bookmarks(J).Name, 8)) = "OLE_LINK" Then
            ActiveDocument.Bookmarks(J).Delete
        End If
    Next J
End Sub

Running the macro won't bother any other bookmarks in your system. The only ones affected are those that start with the letters OLE_LINK.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the WordTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10475) 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: Random OLE Bookmarks.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Editing Word's Built-in Commands

Want to configure Word to do just what you want it to? You can even go so far as to change the actual way in which Word ...

Discover More

Deleting Conditional Formatting

After you've applied a conditional format to a cell, you may have a need to later delete that format so that the cell is ...

Discover More

Specifying Chart Sizes

If you need a number of charts in your workbook to all be the same size, it can be a bother to manually change each of ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Deleting a Bookmark

Create a bookmark and you may, at some future point, need to delete that bookmark. It's easy to do, as described in this tip.

Discover More

Fields in Footnotes Won't Update Automatically

Fields can be very helpful for including dynamic information in your documents, such as cross-references. It can be ...

Discover More

Bookmark Error when Printing

Bookmarks are commonly used in Word documents as a way to cross-reference information. If the bookmark referenced by the ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is two less than 3?

2017-11-11 14:24:41

Allan Poe

"If you are using Word 2007, you can visually see the bookmarks if you turn on the bookmark brackets (Tools | Options | View | Bookmarks)"
Sorry Allen there is no Tools option in Word 2007. You have to go to Office Button>Word Options>Advanced>Show Document Content>Show Bookmarks.


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Videos
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.