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Cross references - new functionality needed RRS feed

  • Question

  • All,

    There have been some good improvements to Word since 2003 but one feature I use a lot that is crying out for more sophistication and better usability is cross-references. I want to suggest some new functions for them:

    1. Ability to create and manage cross-ref templates. I create extensive cross-references within and between my documents, and it is very time-consuming to have to select the heading number, the heading text, and the page number individually, and then to format these as I want them to appear in the document. I want to be able to
      (a) create a template in which I define the order, appearance, and any additional characters or formatting I need to apply;
      (b) save that template; 
      (c) have it available from the Cross-ref menu (perhaps at the top of 'Insert Reference To' menu).
    2. Ability to select a header, numbered item - any object that can be the target of a cross-ref - and then be able to paste a cross-ref to it - perhaps from the 'Paste special' menu - using a custom template as described in #1 (as well as any standard cross-ref) - anywhere in the document.
    3. Better handling of changes to target: it is difficult to understand what kinds of changes to a target will break or otherwise impact a cross-ref - and it is far to easy to break one. If I move a heading and its sub-content up or down in the order (using, say, Outline view), the 'heading text' cross-ref will populate with potentially pages of content, and other cross-refs will no longer point to the original target. This is very undesirable behavior and sometimes creates substantial overheads when cross-refs need to be redone - especially when the targets of broken refs cannot be easily identified. Other changes with negative impact on the ref include adding characters to the target's end of line. Put simply, whatever happens to the target should be accurately reflected in the cross-reference; after all, Word knows the text of the title, so presumably it's aware of the header, numbered item or other targetable object as an object. If that object moves or changes, the user should not have to re-create the cross-reference. This is a massive usability shortcoming for anyone who uses cross-refs, and I suspect a significant barrier preventing many people who would otherwise use the feature.
    4. Cross-refrences between documents: there is no easy way to do this. I work with multiple documents that describe the same system, and need to cross-reference between them. I'm not aware of any support for dynamically updatable links similar to intra-document cross-references - have I missed something? If not, Word needs this feature.
    5. Better Help: A comprehensive set of help information for all aspect of the Cross-reference screen is needed, including the purpose and impact of things like 'no context' vs 'full context', etc.

    Thanks and regards,

    Bruce

    • Edited by Bruce Melendy Monday, May 14, 2012 2:49 AM
    • Changed type Max Meng Tuesday, May 15, 2012 5:26 AM not a question
    • Edited by Max Meng Tuesday, May 15, 2012 5:39 AM format
    • Changed type Bruce Melendy Tuesday, May 15, 2012 6:05 AM
    • Changed type Max Meng Tuesday, May 15, 2012 7:10 AM
    Monday, May 14, 2012 2:35 AM

Answers

  • Hi,

    These are all good suggestions and I can certainly report the suggestions for the future.

    In regards to number 4. There isn't really a good way to the this.

    Thanks,


    Regards, Risa Microsoft Online Community Support Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.

    • Marked as answer by Bruce Melendy Sunday, May 20, 2012 10:33 AM
    Friday, May 18, 2012 11:02 PM
    Answerer

All replies

  • Hi,

    These are all good suggestions and I can certainly report the suggestions for the future.

    In regards to number 4. There isn't really a good way to the this.

    Thanks,


    Regards, Risa Microsoft Online Community Support Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.

    • Marked as answer by Bruce Melendy Sunday, May 20, 2012 10:33 AM
    Friday, May 18, 2012 11:02 PM
    Answerer
  • check this link this may help you out

    http://wordprocessing.about.com/od/microsoftword2007/a/crossreferences.htm

    Saturday, May 19, 2012 11:16 AM
  • Thanks Risa. Re x-refs between docs, some have suggested using a master doc, but that a) isn't feasible a lot of the time (typically documents are separate for a reason and it's not practical to group them together in a master doc), and b) doesn't work very well anyway.

    Has anyone looked at adopting something similar to the 'insert and link' approach already used for images?

    Cheers,

    Bruce

    Sunday, May 20, 2012 10:46 AM