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: Automatically Referencing Info Entered in a Table.

Automatically Referencing Info Entered in a Table

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 30, 2017)

4

Kees has a table in a Word document. (This is a Word table, not an Excel table.) If he types a word in cell A1 he would like that word to automatically appear in cell E6 or, possibly, in a cell in an entirely different table.

There is no way, within Word, to have the word automatically appear in cell E6 as you type it; that is beyond the capabilities of the program. However, you could make sure that whatever is in cell A1 is duplicated in cell E6 by relying on bookmarks:

  1. Select the word in cell A1. (Don't include the end-of-cell marker; just select the word itself.)
  2. Press Shift+Ctrl+F5. Word displays the Bookmark dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Bookmark dialog box.

  4. Enter a name for your bookmark, such as FirstWord (note that there are no spaces in the name).
  5. Click on Add. Word Adds the bookmark.
  6. Move to cell E6 or whatever cell you want to have the word appear.
  7. Insert a field by pressing Ctrl+F9.
  8. Within the field, type REF FirstWord (if you created a bookmark with a different name in step 4, use that name instead of FirstWord).
  9. Press F9 to update the field.

Remember that fields are automatically updated when you print your document or when you manually update them (as described in other issues of WordTips). You should also understand that if someone modifies the text in cell A1, that it is possible the bookmark you defined in step 4 will be deleted. If this happens, the only solution is to recreate the bookmark.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (12127) 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: Automatically Referencing Info Entered in a Table.

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 3 + 2?

2018-09-21 10:44:49

Bob C

Just to take the "problem" a step further, I create multiple tables in a Word Document by copying a default or template-like table from one section to another and populate each table with the data I need. However, it is the case that the text in the first row and first column in a table will be referenced in other parts of the table. If it was just a one-off table then the bookmark solution would work, but copying the same table between sections means the bookmark is copied as well. Is there any way to have the bookmark name pickup the table number as part of its definition so each bookmark is unique in each table? Does that make sense?!!


2018-01-31 19:38:21

k

I'm trying to link information from one table to a second table, but the information in the first table changes.

I have a large header on the first page and an abbreviated header on subsequent pages. I'd like to be able to easily update the second page header when I enter/change the information on the first page. I tried using this method but it seems very specific with how I enter the new information into the cell. I can't seem to select the entire first cell contents without the second cell getting "wonky."

Any suggestions?


2017-12-30 11:53:16

Richard Price

@Brian Lair: the table formulas work if the other cell contains a number, but as far as I know they don't work if the other cell contains a word, which is the premise of the article. In that case a formula like =A1 or =R1C1 returns a value of 0.


2017-12-30 11:38:46

Brian Lair

It might be easier to use Word’s table formulas feature to insert a reference to the other cell, using the Formula command on the Table Tools, Layout tab, in the Data group. I don’t think that will work if the source cell is in a different table, but it seems easier than using bookmarks when it’s in the same table. See this article for more information:
https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Use-a-formula-in-a-Word-or-Outlook-table-cbd0596e-ea8a-485e-a35d-b2cb2c4f3e27


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