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Reader Question – Update Cross-Reference Footnote Numbers in Word

I recently received a great question from a reader, Dani. I’m guessing she read my post on using Word cross-references, since that’s the topic of her question. Here’s what she asked:

When I use the cross-referencing feature in footnotes, the notes do not automatically update. They seem to ‘know’ that the corresponding fn number has been changed (when I control + click on the cross-referenced footnote, it takes me to the correct footnote), but it continues to call it by the old number. Any advice?

The problem for Dani was that Word does not automatically update the value of linked fields. It knows that footnotes have moved, but it doesn’t display the new number, until you tell it to.

You can update linked fields by selecting them and then pressing F9. You can also select all (by using CTRL+A) and press F9 to update all your fields. However, Dani discovered that footnotes will only update using this method if you first put the cursor in the footnotes area. Then pressing CTRL+A and F9 will update everything. Odd, but it works.

Also, you can tell Word to automatically update fields before printing. Here’s how:

  • On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the Print tab.
  • Under Printing options, do one of the following:
    • To update fields, select the Update fields check box.
    • To update linked information, select the Update links check box.

I hope this info helps out some other people as well. Cross-references are a great feature in Word, but they’re a pain sometimes.

Also, never hesitate to contact me with any question, problem, or idea. I love to be in touch with you awesome readers; that’s one of the joys of blogging. Feel free to post a comment or drop me a line.

[tags]legal andrew, cross-reference, word, microsoft word[/tags]

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