Inserting Bookmarks

We have all used bookmarks at one time or another. We've dog-eared pages and even used sticky notes to mark where we have left off in a book. Word does the same thing in long documents. If you have bookmarked a paragraph or heading in your document, the next time you open the document you can use Goto to move to your bookmarked location.

This is especially handy when you find that there are parts of your document that are constantly being updated. You can use bookmarks to jump in and out of those problem spots quickly.

Note CK Note: Bookmarks are also one of the best ways to have text inserted in one place reflected elsewhere in the document -- or even in another document! You do this by insertion of a cross-reference to the text of the bookmark. Cindy Meister refers to this as the second mode of bookmarks -- not just holding a place in a document but holding content in a document. Another good way in versions of Word 2007 and later is by use of Document Property Content Controls and Other Mapped Content Controls
Practice: Insert a Bookmark
  1. Select any text on the page.
  2. From the Insert menu, choose Bookmark (or press CTRL+SHIFT+F5).

The Bookmark dialog for inserting bookmarks

(In Word 2007 and later the control to insert a Bookmark is on the Insert Tab of the Ribbon. The Ctrl+Shift+F5 shortcut continues to work.)

  1. Create a name for your bookmark in the Bookmark name field (you cannot start a Bookmark name with a number, and Word won't allow spaces within the name).
  2. Click Add. (Notice that Word has added this new bookmark to the bookmark list.)
  3. Click Close.
Navigating With Bookmarks

Now that you have marked your document with bookmarks, let's go over the easy ways to move throughout your document using them.

Practice: Find your Bookmarks
  1. Press F5 on your keyboard. The Find and Replace dialog box appears, with the Go To tab activated. In the Go to what list, find Bookmark.
  2. One of your bookmarks will fill the Enter bookmark name field. If this is not the bookmark you are looking for, click the drop-down arrow and select the bookmark that you want to find. Click Go To, and Word will take you to the bookmarked location.

    The Find and Replace dialog with the Go To tab selected, to find a bookmark

  3. You can go to the next bookmark by pressing F5 again and selecting the new bookmark name and clicking Go To.
Warning CK Warning: Bookmarks are fragile creatures and easily deleted when you are editing bookmarked text! For instance, if you follow the directions above to go to a bookmark, you will have the bookmark (as well as the bookmarked text) selected. If you make changes without adjusting this, you will delete the bookmark and any references to that bookmark (see below) will be invalid. 

When you are working with bookmarked text, keep your view options set to view bookmarks and your Undo key handy! When I am working with bookmarked text and want to preserve the bookmark, I will put my insertion point (cursor) inside of the bookmarked text - just after the first letter of that text. I will then insert the changes that I want to make and delete the surplus text by hand using the delete or backspace keys. 

This fragility exists in all versions of Word to date (2013).

For more on bookmarks see: Word Bookmarks by Cindy Meister