When I use the Cross-reference dialog for figure and table cross-references, Word creates a new field with a reference number, e.g.:

{ REF _Ref530727267 \h }

How can I get the _Refxxxxxxxxx codes for the captions of my existing figures and tables? I want to insert the cross-reference fields manually, because the Cross-reference dialog is buggy and slow.

2 Answers 2


I found the answer here: https://wordaddins.com/support/cross-reference-fields-in-word/

Ctrl+Shift+F5 opens the Bookmark dialog, and this will show all _Refxxxxxxxxx codes, if "Hidden bookmarks" is checked.

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It is slightly trickier than I first thought. The _Refxxxxxxxxx bookmarks are not created when you add a caption; they are generated by the Cross-reference dialog. Here are the steps to create a new bookmark:

  1. Select the caption text you want in the cross-reference, e.g. Figure 42.
  2. Open the Bookmark dialog with Ctrl+Shift+F5.
  3. Type a new bookmark name, e.g. fig_dolphin, and click "Add".

Not trivial I admit, but I really hate that cross-reference dialog.

  • Perfect! I needed this to reference figures in the appendixes. These shouldn't be included in the table of contents, so I edited the field codes and used a new identifier, but then these figures aren't listed in the Cross-reference dialog.
    – KinGamer
    Apr 9, 2020 at 16:55

If you're annoyed -like me- by the miniature Cross-reference dialog, you might want to have a look at my macro InsertCrossReferencesComfortably. It inserts cross references without fiddling with _Refxxxxxxxxx codes, in a more visual point-and-click-style.

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