Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. 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

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated February 3, 2024)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


2

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. (Click the Bookmark tool on the Insert tab of the ribbon. Make sure the bookmark name has no spaces in it.)
  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, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. 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. ...

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What is four more than 4?

2024-02-04 08:20:06

Paul Stregevsky

Stephen Keeling,

Do you deliver your document in PDF? If so, there's nothing to remember: Your cross-references update each time you select Print. ...

The only risk is that a link has broken and a cross-ref has been replaced with "Error! Bookmark not found."


2024-02-03 06:33:41

Stephen Keeling

Hi Alan: I don't use MS Word's cross-referencing feature because it does not automatically update. Yes I think you can select the whole doc and press F9 to update all cross-refs - but I'd rather not risk overlooking doing this at the end of editing and having wrong cross-references.


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