Keyboard Shortcut to insert a cross reference in Word 2007

by eliasen 25. October 2009 14:34

Hi all

As many have noticed, I am co-authoring a book and right now I am writing all my stuff in Word 2007.

As you might have guessed, I have lots of sections, subsections, figures, tables and other numbered items in my text, and naturally, they are there because I need to reference them in my text.

In order to insert a cross reference from some text to a given numbered item, I found two options:

  1. Go to the “References” tab and click on “Cross-reference” in the “Captions” section.
  2. Go to the “Insert” tab and click on “Cross-reference” in the “Links” section.

Both will give me this window:


This is all very fine, but I need a quicker access point, since it appears that I most often need both clicks to get to the dialog box, since I am usually not on either the “Insert” or the “References” tab.

So I discovered the “Quick Access Toolbar” by chance. This happened when I accidentally right-clicked on the “Cross-reference” in stead of clicking on it. Here I could add the functionality to the “Quick Access Toolbar” and also choose to show the “Quick Access Toolbar”, as seen here:


The arrow points to the “Quick Access Toolbar” and the red square is around the “Cross-reference” functionality. So now I always only need one click, which made me happy… for a while :-)

Because once I could do it with just one click, I started wondering about a keyboard shortcut for it. I couldn’t find one, and I searched and searched… and finally just after posting my question to a newsgroup, I found how to do it:

Go to “Word Options”, which is a button at the lower right when clicking on the Start button at the upper left of Word:


This will open up the Word Options. Go to “Customize” and click on “Customize…” as seen in the image below:


After this you get a screen where you can change short cuts, as seen here:


Choose “Insert Tab” and then “InsertCrossReference” and click in the “Press new shortcut key:” box. Now enter the shortcut you want (I entered Alt+Ctrl+Shift+C). Word will tell you if the shortcut you have chosen is all ready assigned to another function (Mine is “Unassigned” as you can see) and then you can click on “Assign” to complete the task.

So now, every time I need to insert a cross reference, I just pres Ctrl+Alt+Shift+C and the dialog box comes up.

All that is left now is to get the “Only Label and number” as the default value for the drop down that decides what to insert instead of “Entire Caption”, but a Word MVP wrote in a post I found that this was not possible. Bummer. Keeping my fingers crossed for Office 2010! :-)

I hope this helps someone.



Comments (3) -

L Randolph
L Randolph
12/22/2009 11:04:18 PM #

Great!  Thanks, I was also looking for the keyboard shortcut for inserting a cross-reference!  I appreciated finding your blog entry.


Jan Eliasen
Jan Eliasen
12/26/2009 1:11:04 PM #


Thanks for the feed back.



9/15/2010 6:01:30 AM #

I was wondering the same thing, this helps me a lot. Thank you very much! Smile


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About the author

Jan Eliasen is 37 years old, divorced and has 2 sons, Andreas (July 2004) and Emil (July 2006).

Jan has a masters degree in computer science and is currently employed at Logica Denmark as an IT architect.

Jan is a 6 times Microsoft MVP in BizTalk Server (not currently an MVP) and proud co-author of the BizTalk 2010 Unleashed book.

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Microsoft MVP

6 times: July 2004, July 2008, July 2009, July 2010, July 2011, and July 2012. Not currently an MVP.


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