You have a document that needs to have the same text in several locations. This may be a contract or some sort of standard document. In our example, Susan wants to have the name of a client appear in several locations, but Susan only wants to type it in once!
To do this we will use Bookmarks and Cross References, both of which are Fields.
Warning – Field Codes will show up formatted in grey and may show large square brackets around them. The brackets are non-printing and show you where to type. Be very careful not to erase the square brackets.
First insert a bookmark
Place the cursor where you want the first instance of the text to be. In my example it is where I want the FirstName to be. (I have typed in placeholder text to help)
Then click Bookmark in the Links group.
- Placeholder text in the document
- Go to the Insert Ribbon
- Click on Bookmark
- Name the bookmark – no spaces
The grey shaded text now appears and shows you where the bookmark is.
That is step one. Repeat for any other Bookmarks.
The bookmarks now appear in the document, the placeholder text is inside square brackets and may be shaded. This will depend on your settings.
Now time to go to step 2.
Insert Cross References
We need to place a cross reference which will instruct Word to refer to the bookmarked text. With a cross reference you refer to a page number or a heading or in our case, whatever text is typed in the bookmark.
First place the cursor where you would like the bookmarked text to appear. In our case it is every FirstName and LastName Field in the document (in three places). Go through them one at a time.
On the Insert Ribbon in the Links group click on Cross Reference and then, select the type of cross reference you need. In our cast Bookmark. Also select what you wish to insert, Bookmarked Text in our example.
Once you have made your selection click Insert
You now see the same bookmark placeholders in grey as the first ones created.
Change the bookmark text
Carefully type the new text inside the square brackets for the first bookmark.
Make sure you do not delete the square brackets!
Update the fields.
Select the whole document – Control + A ( Command +A on Mac)
Right click and choose Update Field
If you are on a Windows machine you can also select the whole document and press the F9 key.
All the fields in the document will now be updated.
You can see them all by going to Print and previewing the document. Here you can see that the shading and the square brackets do not print.
Save as a template
When you are happy with the layout of your document and you have added all the bookmarks and cross references, save your document as a template.
To create a new document with different details – create a new document from your template, change the text in the bookmark(s) and then update the document. Save with a new name and there you go.
To learn about using Word to create eBooks and Lead Magnets take the course – How to Create eBooks and Lead Magnets
To learn about creating Fillable Forms – take the course How to Create Fillable Forms
Look out for more blogs every Tuesday and the occasional extra one like this 😉