How To Create a Cross Reference in Microsoft Word

Cross referencing allows you or your reader to locate a bookmark, heading, figure, chart, numbered paragraphs, and other types of information referred to in the discourse of the document but which is written in certain areas of the document. Making use of the cross reference feature of Microsoft Word is better than manually writing cross references. This is because updates in your document may affect pagination and therefore may leave your cross references inaccurate. Microsoft Word, on the contrary, updates your cross references as you type in changes in your document. Follow this step-by-step guide to make a cross reference.

Locate the information you want to create a cross reference. Before you can make a cross reference, you have to make sure that the information you want to refer to is located in the same document. If not, you need to merge the documents into one master document, where sub-documents are put together. Also, remember that the item you need to refer to must already exist before you make a cross reference.

Make an introductory sentence. The cross reference must begin with an introductory sentence, such as “For more information, see…” The heading text, page number, endnote number, or any type of reference will appear after this sentence.

Insert a cross reference. After typing the sentence, go to Insert menu. On the drop-down menu, choose Reference. Then, click on Cross-reference. Choose the reference type (the information you want to refer to): Numbered item, Heading, Bookmark, Footnote, Endnote, Equation, Figure, or Table. Then, in the Insert Reference to box, choose the information you want to be inserted: page number, equation caption, heading text, etc. On the For Which Box, choose the specific information you want to refer to. For example, if you want to refer to a numbered paragraph, choose Numbered item as reference type. Then, select Page number as the reference. On the For Which Box, you will see all the numbered items in the document. Choose the one you want to refer to. Click the Insert button. As soon as you click Insert, the page number of your referenced item will appear after the introductory sentence. You will see, for instance, “For more information, see page 6.” To indicate the exact position of the referenced item, you can check the Include above/below box on the Cross-reference dialog box. 

Check the cross reference. See if you successfully created a cross reference. Do this by pointing the mouse to the reference and following the link. When you CTRL+click the link, you will automatically jump to the location of your reference.  

Create as many cross references as necessary. Do the above-mentioned steps to make as many cross references as needed. For variety, make many versions of the introductory sentence.

To get more information about cross references, you can visit Microsoft Office Online or make use of the Microsoft Office Word Help in your computer. Instructions are available for troubleshooting and changing cross references and managing field codes. 


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