Using Cross-References

When you are working on a long document in which you want to refer to other parts of that document, you can use cross-references to help readers find the information they seek. Word lets you refer to a number of different elements in your document—including captions, headings, footnotes and bookmarks you’ve created. 

Expand sub-documents before referencing 

You can create cross-references only within the current document. You might create a reference at the beginning of a long document, for example, that points readers to a table in a later section that lists statistics related to a new study. You can’t create a cross-reference to refer to a table in another document, however…If you’re working with master and subdocuments, be sure to expand the master document by clicking the Expand Sub-documents button on the Outlining toolbar. This makes all text accessible before you enter cross-references. 

Creating a Cross-Reference 

To create a cross-reference, start by placing the insertion point where you want the cross-reference to appear in your document. 


  1. Add the text that refers to the cross-reference (for example, a phrase such as “To view the results of the financial market”).
  2. Select Insert à Reference à Cross-Reference. The Cross-Reference dialog box appears.
  3. Click the Reference Type arrow, and then make your selection. You can choose from the following document elements: 
    • Numbered Item—lists all the text entries beginning with a number throughout the document.
    • Heading—shows all headings based on Word’s Heading 1, 2, 3 styles or outline levels
    • Bookmark—displays all the bookmarks currently listed in the document
    • Footnote—shows all footnotes inserted in the document
    • Endnote—lists the endnotes you have created
    • Equation—shows any equations you’ve inserted in the document
    • Figure—lists all figure references
    • Table—shows all available tables in the document 
  4. Click the Insert Reference To arrow, and then choose the element you want Word to insert in the document. This item will be inserted at the insertion point.
  5. Select the item to which you want to refer by clicking it in the For Which Numbered Item list box.
  6. Click Insert and Word adds the cross-reference to your document as you directed.
  7. Click Close 

Create links for a Web page 

Save your document as a Web page or make it available as an electronic file, you can have Word turn your cross-references into hyperlinks, so that readers can easily move from one page to another. To create links for cross-references, select the cross-reference you’ve created, and then display the Cross-Reference dialog box by selecting Insert à Reference à Cross-Reference. Select the Insert As Hyperlink check box, and then click Insert. The inserted cross-reference is created as a link to the other location in the document.


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