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

Inserting a Cross-Reference to the Last Style on a Page

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated November 28, 2020)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


Word includes a cross-reference feature that allows you to indicate the contents of a paragraph formatted with a specific style. This is done with fields and is used primarily in headers or footers. As an example, suppose you wanted your header (or footer) to refer to the last heading on a page, as is frequently done in reference material. You can use the following steps to set up this type of cross-reference.

  1. Position the insertion point where you want the cross-reference to appear (such as in a header or footer).
  2. Press Ctrl+F9 to insert field brackets. Make sure the insertion point stays between the brackets.
  3. Type STYLEREF followed by the name of the formatting style used to format the paragraph you want to cross-reference. The name of the formatting style must be enclosed in quotes. Follow this with the \l switch. Thus, if you wanted to cross-reference the Heading 4 style, you would use this within the field brackets: styleref "heading 4" \l.
  4. Press F9 to update the field information. Word replaces the field with the text of the last paragraph on the page formatted with the specified style.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13212) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Inserting a Cross-Reference to the Last Style on a Page.

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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