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: Inserting a Cross-Reference to Text.

Inserting a Cross-Reference to Text

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 4, 2017)


Word allows you to insert the text of cross-references in the following manner:

  1. Select the text you want to be cross-referenced.
  2. Assign this text a bookmark name.
  3. Position the insertion point where you want the cross-reference to appear.
  4. Press Ctrl+F9 to insert field brackets. Make sure the insertion point stays between the brackets.
  5. Type ref followed by the name of the bookmark used in step 2.
  6. Press F9 to update the field information. Word replaces the field with the text to which the bookmark was assigned.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11432) 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: Inserting a Cross-Reference to Text.

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. ...


Getting Rid of Addresses

Word interfaces easily with other Office programs, such as Outlook. As an example, the Envelopes and Labels dialog box ...

Discover More

Inserting a Document's Size

Want to insert the size of your document directly into the document body? You can do so by using one of the dynamic ...

Discover More

AutoFilling with Weekdays

Need to fill a range of cells with the days of the week? Excel makes it easy to do so using AutoFill.

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Using Fields for Fractions

Want a quick way to create fractions? You can do it by using fields, as described in this tip.

Discover More

Understanding the COMPARE Field

The COMPARE field is rather esoteric, but it can be helpful when you need to compare two values using fields. The result ...

Discover More

Inserting the Current Month

Need to add the name of the current month to your document? Word includes a field that can make the addition easy, and it ...

Discover More

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

View most recent newsletter.


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}] 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 1 + 8?

2017-04-02 09:51:54


Torgrim, this is handy when you want to refer to something mentioned elsewhere in the document, and that something isn't a heading and isn't numbered. Mark that something, your target, as a bookmark, then use the steps above to refer to it. Or you can use Insert > Reference, choose Bookmark in the dialog, and choose the bookmark name you've added. Cheers

2017-02-06 06:53:34


What is the use for this? When/for which tasks would you use this?

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.

Newest Tips

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.