Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Maintaining Fields in a Merged Document.

Maintaining Fields in a Merged Document

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 24, 2017)

1

Jacqueline asked if it is possible to maintain cross-reference fields in a merged Word document. It seems that when the merge is done, the cross-references are converted to plain text.

Word is actually designed to behave this way, and for good reason. Consider your source document for just a moment. If you have a cross-reference to a paragraph, that is fine. Now, suppose you merge this source document with ten data records. Now, instead of one referenced paragraph you have ten copies of the same paragraph—all in the same document. To which of the ten paragraphs should the cross-reference exist? Now imagine the cross-reference confusion if you merge with fifty or a hundred data records. Since Word has no way of knowing how the cross-reference should be maintained, it converts the cross-reference to plain text.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1736) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Maintaining Fields in a Merged Document.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Dynamic Worksheet Tab Names

Need a worksheet's name to change based on the contents of a cell? You'll need to rely on a macro to do the changing, but the ...

Discover More

Changing a Field Parameter

Fields are a powerful way to add dynamic content to your documents. Some fields rely on the use of parameters to control what ...

Discover More

Adding Up Tops and Bottoms

When you are working with sequenced values in a list, you'll often want to take some action based on the top X or bottom Y ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (menu)

Selecting a Field

Do you need to select a field? It is as simple as selecting a single character, as this tip explains.

Discover More

Displaying Blanks when Summing to Zero

If you use fields to sum the information in your table columns, you might want to display a blank when the sum is zero. The ...

Discover More

Inserting the User's Address

If you enter your address into Word, you can insert that address anywhere you want in a document by using a single field. ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 3 + 8?

2017-02-21 09:24:11

User543245

This reasoning seems counter intuitive to the purpose of a cross reference. Why would you ever use the cross reference feature if it is converted to text in the final document? The desire of using the cross reference feature is that as Sections/paragraphs are added/removed the reference is updated.
Is there an option/method that a user can implement in a template so that after the merge occurs and the document is later edited, the reference is updated?


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.