Microsoft Word

Cross References

A cross-reference displays the specified information at a second location in the document. For example, you can use cross-references to insert the same text in several different parts of a document and keep the text updated in one part of the document.

You can make a cross-reference refer to a bookmark, a heading, a footnote or endnote, a figure or table, an equation, or a numbered item (such as a page number):

  • Numbered Item Lists all the text entries beginning with a number
  • Heading Shows all headings based on Heading 1, 2, or 3 styles
  • Bookmark Displays all the available bookmarks in the document
  • Footnote Shows all the footnotes inserted in the document
  • Endnote Lists the endnotes
  • Equation Shows equations available in the document
  • Figure Lists all figure references
  • Table Shows all available tables in the document

How to cross-reference text in paragraph

For a text item in a paragraph, use a bookmark. Select the text, choose Insert > Bookmark, type the bookmark name, and click the Add button.

To insert the cross-reference, choose Insert > Cross-reference. In the Cross-reference dialog box:

  1. Select “Bookmark” in the “Reference type” drop-down list
  2. Select “Bookmark text” in the “Insert reference to” drop-down list
  3. Choose the bookmark in the “For which bookmark” list
  4. Click the Insert button.
Cross reference dialog box

If you check the “Insert as hyperlink” box in the Cross-Reference dialog box, Word creates a hyperlink to access the original text (press and hold the Ctrl key and then click the reference text.) This is useful if you might otherwise lose track of the original text. If you’re referring to a bookmark, you can always access it quickly via the Bookmark dialog box.

Update Cross-References

You can update the cross-references automatically after you change the text. The easiest way to update all the fields in a document is to select the entire document (press Ctrl+A or choose Home > Select > Select All) and then press F9 or Alt+Shift+U.

Error! Reference source not found

If you see “Error! Reference source not found” instead of the reference, make sure that the information you’re referring to hasn’t been removed from your document. If the item is still in your document, try fixing the problem by updating the references.