Word: Link to a place in another document

July 27, 2010

You can link from one Word document (doc A) to a particular place in another Word document (doc B) using Bookmarks.

NOTE: I would expect that if you moved the documents from their saved and linked locations, the links will break.

The steps and screens for Word 2003 and 2007 are almost exactly the same; the screen shots in these steps are from Word 2003.

Create a bookmark at the specific location in document B

  1. Open document B (the document you want to link to) and go to the place where you want the link in document A to point to.
  2. Insert a bookmark at that place in document B, giving it a meaningful name (make sure there are no spaces or punctuation in the name):
    • Word 2003: Insert > Bookmark
    • Word 2007: Insert tab > Links group > Bookmark button

Create the link in document A

  1. Open document A and select the text where you want to insert the link to document B.
  2. Insert a hyperlink:
    • Word 2003: Insert > Hyperlink
    • Word 2007: Insert tab > Links group > Hyperlink button
  3. On the Insert Hyperlink window, make sure Existing File or Web Page is selected on the left (1 in the screen shot).
  4. Check the Text to display to make sure it has the word you want as the link text (2).
  5. Using the Look in field and its drop-down arrow (3), navigate to the folder where document B is located.
  6. Select document B (4).
  7. Click Bookmark (5).
  8. Select the named bookmark from the list, then click OK.
  9. The bookmark is added to the file address.
  10. Click OK again to close the Insert Hyperlink window. Your selected text is now a link to the other document.

Related posts:

[Links last checked July 2010]


  1. […] document doesn’t use them, then they shouldn’t be available for selection. If I want to reference something in another document, then I can’t do it via this dialog box […]

  2. This is great when using word inside of a presentation. For what you ask? Plotting math graphs are easy if you know what you are doing with the grid; it’s great to show powerful corporate graphs through Word’s grid.

  3. You made me look like a genius… thanks. :)

  4. When using the built in headers, an hyperlink can be set to those while in the same document without marking those headers as bookmarks. The list shows both headings and bookmarks to choose from. I understood this very helpful tutorial and learned to create links from one document to a bookmark in a different one but couldn’t find an option for doing so for the headings.

  5. by headers I meant headings. Sorry.

  6. Hi,
    How can I make cross reference from a document to another and put all of them in a Master document? I want that in the Master doc to refer from one chapter to another ( one doc to another).

  7. Thanks for the information!
    Is there a way to create a hypertext link in a Word document that links directly to a bookmark in a .pdf?
    I’m trying to determine whether I can avoid creating a word document from html files that I import into MadCap Flare, then create bookmarks within the word document, then generate the .pdf to which I would link.
    Thanks again.

  8. Hi Liz

    I Googled “word link to pdf bookmark” (without the quotes) and found several results that may be helpful, though it looks like it’s not an easy thing to do. This one (http://www.organognosi.com/create-hyperlink-to-a-specific-pdf-page-in-microsoft-word-for-windows-2/) uses a macro to insert the hyperlink.


  9. Rhonda,
    Can’t thank you enough. This is great. Not easy, but at least I have a sense of the options and can navigate from here.
    Many thanks for your time.

  10. Is it possible that i change one word in a document and some other words will change with it automatically. can i link words or text like that

  11. Hi Sahel

    Probably not automatically, at least not in Word itself, though there may be some add-ons that could do this. You can do if via a Find/Replace of course, or if the word is set up to be a fill-in field or perhaps a bookmark, where changing it int he source place will allow it to change in the target locations when you update fields etc.

    Software that has variables or snippets would allow this, but as far as I know Word doesn’t have that capability.


  12. This didn’t work for me, can you help? I put a hyper link on an object in an email, and directed it to the bookmark within a word document. (I know this because at the end of the link, it says #bookmark_name) But when the recipient clicks on the link, it only opens the document; it doesn’t go to the bookmark (on a later page in the doc).

  13. Thank you! I attempted this prior to reading your instructions and I finally got it to work! Super stoked! Thank you!!!

  14. Hi, Rhonda! Is there a way to link certain cells in an Excel spreadsheet to a bookmark or field in a Word document such that whenever the new numbers are run (monthly) in Excel, you can hit the magic F9 key (or something) and all the figures in the Word document are updated with the new numbers from Excel?
    And congratulations on your fabulous blog stats! You are amazing!
    Love, Jeanne

  15. Hi Jeanne

    Thank you for your kind words.

    A quick Google search found these solutions:
    * https://word.tips.net/T000305_Hyperlinking_to_a_Specific_Excel_Worksheet.html

    * https://stackoverflow.com/questions/10437469/how-do-i-create-a-hyperlink-from-word-to-excel-specific-cell-without-macros-vba

    * https://www.journalofaccountancy.com/issues/2010/dec/techqa2.html

    NOTE: I haven’t tested any of them, so let me know how you go!


  16. Dear Rhonda:
    My colleague found a way to link cells in an Excel spreadsheet to text in a Word document without long links messing up the formatting.
    You must have both Excel and Word open to the files that are being cross-referenced.
    Copy the cell in Excel
    Paste the link into the body of the Word document using:
    Paste Special
    Paste link button
    Unformatted text
    Then when you update your spreadsheet (each month), the new numbers will show up in your Word report!
    (This is almost too easy….)
    Love, Jeanne

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