Word 2013 - Creating a Cross-Reference


Cross-references are commonly used in indexes and within long documents to direct the reader's attention to another part of the document, such as an image or related table. Cross-references can appear anywhere within the document and often take the form of: (See Table A). A cross-reference created in Word can be automatically updated if you later make changes to the document. You can create a cross-reference to any of the following objects:

  • Numbered item (created using Word's regular or outline numbering)
  • Heading (formatted using Styles)
  • Bookmarked text
  • Footnote
  • Endnote
  • Figure / Table / Equation (marked using Captions)

How Cross-Referencing Works

When a cross-reference is created, a field is inserted into your document identifying the item you are referencing (e.g. a table, chart, heading). In the example (See Table A), you would type the brackets and the word See before inserting Table A as a field, as explained below. Fields are usually updated when a document is opened or printed. In addition, you can manually update a field by pressing the F9 key.

To update fields:

1. To update a single field, place your cursor within the field and press F9

2. To update all fields in a document, select all text using CTRL + A, then press F9   


Creating a Cross-Reference

To create a cross-reference:

1. Add any introductory text and brackets required.

2. Place your cursor where the cross-reference should be inserted

3. Click References | Cross-reference. A Cross-reference dialog box will appear.

4. Click the Reference type: drop down and select the type of object you want to provide a cross-reference to 

5. Click the Insert reference to: drop down and select the information to be displayed in the cross-reference field 

6. Available headings, captions or footnotes will appear. Select the item you wish to reference 

7. Click Insert

Note: In the example below, we selected the following options:

Reference type: Table
Insert reference to: Entire Caption (highlighted in grey) 

The grey area indicates the field that will update if changes are made to the document.


For more details on creating cross-references, see Microsoft online help.