Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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 an Item in a List.

Inserting a Cross-Reference to an Item in a List

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 24, 2017)


In other issues of WordTips you learn how to sequentially number elements of your document. Word also allows you to cross-reference to sequentially numbered items. For instance, you could have a cross-reference in text to a specific table or figure. (Tables and figures are often sequentially numbered.) This is done by following these steps:

  1. Select the sequence field you want to cross-reference.
  2. Assign a bookmark to the field.
  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 seq followed by the name of the element you are cross-referencing (these two things are the entire field used as the sequence field in step 1, followed by the bookmark name used in step 2. Thus, if the sequence field you want to cross reference is seq figures and you assigned it a bookmark name of Figures09, then the cross-reference would be seq figures Figures09.)
  6. Press F9 to update the field information. Word replaces the field with the next number in the sequence you have specified.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13031) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Inserting a Cross-Reference to an Item in a List.

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 5 + 9?

2015-01-15 16:26:47

Michael Delaney

The INSERT Ribbon actually has a Cross-reference button that allows you to select an item in a list and put in a reference to it. Much easier!

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