Cross References in Word  What are they? + How to Create ▷ 2020

While it is true, Microsoft Word is considered the main word processor in the computing environment. Reason why, is the most used program to create, edit, personalize and manage any digital writing.

In that sense, provides a large number of functions that allow obtain absolute quality results, as well as optimizing the experience of each user. So, currently, allows you to create and insert a cross reference in documents.

Therefore, you can make use of these elements as a tool at the service of knowledge that is of great help to readers. Next, we explain What are cross references in Word, what are their distinctions with a hyperlink and how they should be added correctly.

What is a cross reference and what is it for in Microsoft Word?

Basically a cross reference is defined as an element that offers the ability to link to other parts of the same document, concisely. Well, whenever you talk about “reference”, is to do allusion to any information which serves to further understand the subject in question.

In that sense, cross references in Word are used for describe the dependence, similarity or link of any data with respect to another. Therefore, in summary, It is distinguished that this type of elements are related to the action and effect of a reference as such.

Thus, they are a element type computer science that, in general terms, are used in conventional printed documents (essays, research articles, novels, textbooks, etc.) and also in readings through the Internet. Reason why, the varieties of Cross-references that exist for achieve signaling information in a much simpler and more effective way.

However, within the program Microsoft Word, users choose create and add cross references in your documents to link, relate or subordinate two elements present in the same text, but found in different areas of the same. Thus, especially, they serve to obtain a naturally methodical or orderly document in which any associated theme can be connected instantly.

Therefore, cross references are used for titles, bookmarks, numbered paragraphs, or footnotes. For example, they are even used to create a link to a chart shown elsewhere in the document, in order to optimize the interpretation process for each reader.

What are the differences between a hyperlink and a cross reference?

What are the differences between a hyperlink and a cross reference?

However, although Cross-references are pointed out as a kind of link throughout any document, the truth is that not to be confused with a hyperlink. Since, there is a remarkable distinction between both elements, despite the fact that they help to improve the organization of a certain writing.

In this sense, we point out that, a hyperlink consists of a link present in the electronic documents (emails, web pages, digital text documents, etc.) that refers to a different document or to another resource of any medium. Thus, it is an element that can relate two web pages of the same site or point a page of another website to a file or image, for example.

Therefore, while a cross reference it is used to link two parts of the same document and symbolize the dependency or analogy between the two, a hyperlink takes care of associate one text with another that does not necessarily share the same context and, only, they are related by some term or review.

Also, usually cross-references are used in text documents like Word and hyperlinks in web environments (hence, they are also known as “Link”). Therefore, the latter allow you to “visit” the different resources available online, while the Cross-references they don’t have that role.

Steps to create and insert a cross reference in Microsoft Word documents

Before presenting how to prepare and add a cross reference in any Word document, it is worth noting that, these kinds of references are inserted into the text as fields.

That is, as a set of information that tells the program that add text, page numbers, graphics, or other materials in writing, automatically.

However, according to the case, there are two ways to include cross references in a document within this word processor. Since, it can be done from a separate file and also with a master document.

Here we explain the steps to take in each matter:

With separate document

Basically, this is the main way there is to insert cross references using Microsoft Word. Because, it is used to reference two parts of the same document that is totally autonomous.

Next, we indicate the step by step to follow for this:

  • Once you search and access the document in question, you have to start with create the element you are cross-referencing. Either the title, graphic, page number or any existing component in the written.
  • Done the above, it is time to start inserting the cross reference. For that, within the document, proceed to write the text that addresses the cross reference. For example: “Visit the title What are the differences between a hyperlink and a cross reference? To better understand the subject ”.
  • Then, from the program’s ribbon, click on the “Insert” tab , and then in the Link group, select the option “Cross reference”.

With separate document

  • Now from automatic way, they will show you a dialog box where you should indicate the type of reference through the drop-down menu (numbered item, title, bookmark, footnote, endnote, or equation).

With separate document

  • After that, in the next drop-down menu, it’s time to choose the “Reference to:”. To do so, click on the information you want insert into document and now, select one of the options shown in the menu (They will depend on what you chose in the type of reference).

With separate document

  • Then, in the box that indicates “For which item listed”, click on the specific component you want reference.

With a separate document

  • If you prefer allow that the users are automatically directed to the flagged item with this cross reference, select “Insert as hyperlink”. Also, if you want add detailed relative position of element referred to, click on the option “Include later or more back”.
  • Finally, just press the “Insert” button so that the cross reference is added in the word document.

With separate document

With master document

Yes, unlike the last case, what you need is create a cross reference among those elements that reside in a separate document, the most recommended will proceed through a master document, that is to say, to combine each separate document into a master document and then add the cross-references. Which, it will prevent you from using hyperlinks.

In this sense, it is appropriate to highlight that, a master document refers to a container from a set of separate files that are identified as “subdocuments”. So, they allow manage a document with various parts and so on, work on a single project dividing it into several files for greater simplicity.

So if you want to do this division in an existing document, in order to obtain subdocuments and use Cross-references; the first thing to do is create master document.

Next, we explain how:

With master document

  • To get started, proceed to open the word document to be sectioned into several parts or several subdocuments.
  • After that, do click on the “View” tab and select “Outline” in the Views group.
  • Now, from the Master Document group, click on the option “Show document”.
  • Followed by that, you have to choose each subdocument to elaborate, as you must select the option “Create” to set them one by one. (1)
  • After pressing on “Create” for each block, you have to click on “Collapse subdocuments” (2) to proceed to save changes in any folder on your computer.
  • Then, each of the subdocuments obtained will be shown separated through small boxes.

Once you have created the master document and when you have saved changes correctly, you will have to access it to proceed to insert the cross references as explained in the previous case.

That is to say:

  • Keeping the Outline view, specify the first text to reference in any subdocument obtained and from the ribbon, click on “Insert” and then click on “Cross Reference”.
  • Later, choose the type of reference, as well as what you want to reference and click on the title of the other subdocument to link.

With master document

  • Now, choose the extra options of your preference and click on “Insert”. That’s it.

If you have any questions, leave them in the comments, we will answer you as soon as possible, and it will also be of great help to more members of the community. Thank you! 😉

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