Tracking and Referencing Documents in Microsoft Word 2010

  • 8/12/2011

3.2 Create a Reference Page

Research and scholarly documents, and even many types of longer business documents, include citations to sources that the authors of the documents referred to in developing their ideas and performing their investigations and analyses. The References tab in Word 2010 provides tools that let you build a list of sources (using the information required by conventional authorities such as the Modern Language Association or the Chicago Manual of Style), manage these sources, and insert the citations where you need them in a document. When the citations are in place, you can easily create a bibliography or a list of works cited.

Word also provides a mechanism for creating and managing cross-references in a document. To aid navigation within a document, you can link a cross-reference to the element it refers to. Word also updates cross-references so that the information they refer to, such as section headings or page numbers, is kept up to date automatically.

Adding Citations to a Document

To add and define citations for a document, you work with the commands in the Citations & Bibliography group on the References tab. Word provides a number of built-in citation styles that you can choose from. These styles conform to conventions defined by organizations and in traditional style manuals. For example, the style list includes entries for the fifth edition of the American Psychological Association’s style guide (APA Fifth Edition), the Modern Language Association (MLA Sixth Edition), and the fifteenth edition of the Chicago Manual of Style. The style you select here determines what information you enter for a citation.


You can use the Insert Citation command to add a citation that’s already defined, to create a new source for a citation, or to enter a placeholder for a citation. You can return to a placeholder later when you need to fill in details for the source.

In the Create Source dialog box, first select the type of source (for example, book, conference proceedings, interview, or sound recording). The fields in the Create Source dialog box change to reflect the type of source you select. Word displays a simple example for each field when you select that field.


To create an entry with multiple authors, click Edit beside the Author field and then use the Edit Name dialog box to add each author name required for the citation. Word creates a tag name on the basis of the author name you enter.

Each citation you define is included in a gallery that appears when you click Insert Citation. Select a citation from that gallery when you need to insert it. To fill in the details for a placeholder, right-click the content control for the placeholder and click Edit Source. You can also use the Edit Source command to change the details of a citation inserted in the document.

To make changes to a citation itself, click the down arrow that appears on the citation’s content control. The menu that appears provides options that let you edit the citation, edit the details for the source that is cited, convert the citation to static text, and update the citations and bibliography in the document.

When you work in the Edit Citation dialog box, you can add page references for the citation and choose to display the author, year, and title or suppress the display of one or more of these elements.

  • To insert a new citation

    1. On the References tab, in the Citation & Bibliography group, choose the style of citation you want to use.

    2. Position the cursor where you want the citation to appear, and then click Insert Citation, Add New Source.

    3. In the Create Source dialog box, select the type of source and then fill in the fields shown.

    4. Select Show All Bibliography Fields if you need to enter additional details for the source.

  • To use a citation placeholder

    1. Position the cursor where you want the citation to appear, and then click Insert Citation, Add New Placeholder.

    2. In the Placeholder Name dialog box, keep the default title provided or type a tag name for the source.

    3. To fill in the source details, right-click the placeholder and then click Edit Source.

    4. In the Edit Source dialog box, select the type of source and then fill in the fields required.

Managing Sources

When you define the details for a source in the Create Source dialog box, Word adds the reference to a master list of sources. To work with this list, you use Source Manager.


Source Manager shows two lists of sources: the master list and the list for the current document. You can copy sources from the master list when you need to cite them in the current document. (You can also copy a source in the list for the current document to the master list.) Use the other command buttons in Source Manager to edit source information or to delete a source. You cannot delete a cited source (indicated by a check mark) from the current list of sources.

Word stores the sources you define in a file named Sources.xml. To see this file, click the Browse button in Source Manager to display the Open Source List dialog box. You can copy this file and use it on another computer or share it with other users. To add sources from this file to Source Manager, display the Open Source List dialog box, select Sources.xml, and then click Open. But be warned that this will replace any existing definitions of the currently logged on user.

  • To manage sources for a document

    1. On the References tab, in the Citation & Bibliography group, click Manage Sources.

    2. In the Source Manager dialog box, click Copy to move a source from the master list to the current list.

    3. Select a source, and then click Delete to remove a source from a list.

    4. Select a source, and then click Edit to update or revise details for the source.

    5. Click New to open the Create Source dialog box and define a new source.

    6. To change the sort order for the source lists, select an option from the Sort list.

    7. To search for a particular source or set of sources, type the search string in the Search box.

Creating a Bibliography

To insert a bibliography that lists the sources cited in a document, click Bibliography in the Citations & Bibliography group. Word displays a gallery from which you can insert a list of sources that is labeled Bibliography or a list that uses the label Works Cited. Choose Insert Bibliography to insert a simply formatted bibliography.

Because bibliographies are a type of building block, you can change the formatting for the bibliography you insert, and then select it and save it to the Bibliography gallery to use in other documents.

  • To insert a bibliography or a list of works cited

    1. Position the cursor where you want the bibliography to appear.

    2. On the References tab, in the Citation & Bibliography group, click Bibliography, and then choose the option you want from the gallery that appears.

  • To save a bibliography to the Bibliography gallery

    1. Insert the bibliography for the document.

    2. Make any formatting changes you want to the bibliography entries.

    3. Select the bibliography, and then click Bibliography, Save Selection to Bibliography Gallery.

    4. In the Create New Building Block dialog box, type the name and description for this bibliography, specify its gallery and the template you want to save it in, and then click OK.

Using Cross-References in a Document

Cross-references let you easily locate specific content within the current document, and they also help keep numbered items (numbered tables and figures, for example) and page references up to date. By default, Word lets you define cross-references to the following elements of a document:

  • A numbered item Paragraphs that use Word’s automatic numbering styles

  • Heading A paragraph styled with one of Word’s built-in heading styles or a style based on those styles

  • Bookmark A bookmark defined in the document

  • Footnote or endnote Notes you insert by using commands in the Footnote group on the References tab

  • Equation An equation associated with a Word caption

  • Figure An illustration or other figure associated with a Word caption

  • Table A table associated with a Word caption

Creating a Caption

Judging by the last three items in the preceding list, you shouldn’t be surprised to find the Cross-Reference command in the Captions group on the References tab. (It also appears in the Links group on the Insert tab.) When you want to label an equation, a figure, or a table (or any other element you want to refer to in a document), select the object and then click Insert Caption.


In the Caption dialog box, use the Label list to select the type of object you are adding a caption to. The default choices are equation, figure, and table. You can define other labels as you need them by clicking New Label. (You can delete custom labels when you no longer need them, but you cannot delete the default options.)

Type the text for the caption (making sure you include a space after the default label that’s shown). Click the Numbering button to display the Caption Numbering dialog box, and then use this dialog box to switch to a different numbering format or to include a chapter number with a caption’s label. (Chapters must be defined by using one of Word’s built-in heading styles.)

Inserting a Cross-Reference

With the cursor positioned where you want to add a cross-reference, type some text that introduces the object you are cross-referencing (for example, For a summary of the amino acids analyzed, see). Open the Cross-Reference dialog box, and then select the type of reference. For example, to reference a table, select that entry from the Reference Type list, and then Word displays a list of tables in the document (those tables labeled with a caption created in Word). With the type of reference selected, use the Insert Reference To list to choose the reference format—a page number, for example, or the text of a heading—and then choose the item you are referring to in the For Which Caption list.


For some types of references (headings or bookmarks, for example), the Insert Reference To list includes two types of numbers: No Context and Full Context. These options are used with lists or outlines that use multiple levels. The Full Context option includes each element in a numbering scheme—for example, 4.1.1.a. The No Context alternative refers only to the last of the levels used.

Select the Include Above/Below option to insert a positional cross-reference that uses the word above or below depending on where the item you are referring to is located in relation to the reference.

Keep the Insert As Hyperlink check box selected if you want to create a hyperlink from the cross-reference to the reference’s target. The hyperlinks you create in the Cross-Reference dialog box work in Word and in a browser if you save a document as a web page.

  • To create a caption for a document element

    1. Select the object you want to create a caption for.

    2. On the References tab, in the Captions group, click Insert Caption.

    3. In the Caption dialog box, in the Label list, select the type of object.

    4. In the Position list, select an option for where you want the caption to appear.

    5. Click Numbering to open the Caption Numbering dialog box, in which you can adjust number formatting for the caption.

    6. Type the caption after the label in the Caption box, and then click OK.

  • To insert a cross-reference

    1. Type the text you want to use to introduce the item you are referencing.

    2. On the References tab, in the Captions group, click Cross-reference.

    3. In the Cross-reference dialog box, select the reference type.

    4. In the Insert reference to list, select which option you want to use as the reference (page number, caption, section heading, for example).

    5. In the For which caption list, select the target for the cross-reference.

    6. Click Insert.