Microsoft Word: Retain Formatting After Updating a Cross-Reference

Problem: Formatting is not retained after updating cross-reference

You insert a cross-reference to a section. And, you apply a character style to display the link in blue. However, when you update the cross-reference, the character styling is lost. For example, if you have applied a style to display the link in blue, the formatting is lost when you update the cross-reference. The link does not appear in blue anymore.


To retain the character styling of a cross-reference after updating it, do the following:

  1. Right-click the cross-reference, and select Toggle Field Code.  The field code is displayed. The field code is similar to the following: {REF _Ref485728411 \h}.
  2. Append the following string to the field code: \*Charformat. So, the cross-reference field code must be similar to the following: {REF _Ref485728411 \*Charformat \h}.
  3. Right-click the cross-reference, and select Toggle Field Code.
  4. Select the cross-reference and apply the character style that you want to use. For example, apply blue font color to the cross-reference.
  5. To test the solution, right-click the cross-reference and select Update Field. The blue color must be retained after the update.

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