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I ask this question because I have problem with cross-reference.

For example, I have a heading with the text "My Test Heading", and I cross-reference it somewhere in my document. Then I change the heading to "Cowabunga". Then I update field for the cross-reference - and BAM - I got "Error! Reference source not found." for my cross-reference.

I know what happen there. It because when I cross-reference the heading, MS Word generates a hidden bookmark (ex: _Ref480371304), when I change the heading to other name - which mean I delete all the character of the old heading - the hidden bookmark is deleted also.

It is not good that I can't change my heading - like I want to translate a document and after translate, I have to insert the cross-reference all over again.

Here is the demo with image Demo Word ref Error

  • What about not deleting the whole heading but adding the new text first (to the same paragraph, without pressing enter!), then updating all references in the document, and delete original text only after that? It should work. I know it's a bit of extra work, but still less, then recreating everything. – Máté Juhász Apr 19 '17 at 6:48
  • @Máté Juhász : It's not working. I try and still get the error :( – 123iamking Apr 19 '17 at 7:11
  • Can you add some screenshots (before & after)? I'm not sure I understand your issue correctly. – Máté Juhász Apr 19 '17 at 7:15
  • @Máté Juhász: Thanks for your help, I found out the answer for my problem and posted the answer :) – 123iamking Apr 19 '17 at 7:25
  • I will post screenshots later :) – 123iamking Apr 19 '17 at 7:30
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I know where what go wrong now - Instead of cross-reference with type "Heading", use cross-reference with type "Numbered item".

Explain: when use cross-reference with type "Heading" the bookmark focus on character of the heading, so when we remove all the character of the heading, the bookmark gone. But when use cross-reference with type "Numbered item", the bookmark focus on line.

So the solution is if you accidentally use cross-reference with type "Heading", you have to re-create these cross-reference with type "Numbered item".


There's also a case that when you create cross-reference on a file, and you paste this cross-reference to a new file, you got the Error! Reference source not found.

The solution is copy the heading which you cross-reference in the old file (so the bookmarks is copy also) and paste it to the new file. Then update the cross-reference in the new file then the error should disappear.

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