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Microsoft Word 2010 and 2013: Cross References

This guide is based on a similar guide from the University of Michigan Libraries. See attribution box at the bottom of the page for more information.

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Adding Cross References

When you refer to a particular figure in your document, rather than typing in “Figure 2”, you can use a cross-reference, so if the figure number changes, the in-text reference will also change. This will also work to reference page numbers of headings and so on.

  1. Put your cursor where you want the reference to be. On the References Ribbon, in the Captions Group, click the Cross-reference () icon.
  2. Select the type of item you are referencing from the Reference type pulldown.
  3. For figures, select Only Label and Number from the Insert reference to: pulldown, unless you want the entire caption to appear in the text.
  4. Select the item you want to reference from the For which caption: section.
  5. Click Insert and close the Cross-reference dialog box.

When your caption number changes, you can update the in-text references by right-clicking the in-text reference and selecting Update field.  

Attribution and Thanks

The information provided in this guide is based upon a guide created by the University of Michigan Libraries.  They have graciously made their guide available under a Creative Commons License 4.0.  Please click the link to visit the UofM original.