How to Create and Use Bookmarks in Microsoft Word

834766 How to Create and Use Bookmarks in Microsoft Word

Bookmarks in Microsoft Word allow you to easily navigate through long documents by creating links to specific sections. They act like bookmarks you would place in a physical book to mark important pages.

When used effectively, bookmarks can save you significant time instead of having to scroll through hundreds of pages to find a specific section. They also allow you to create clickable links in things like a table of contents that jump you right to various parts of the document.

Creating Bookmarks in Word

Creating a bookmark is simple and only takes a few clicks:

  1. Select the text, image, or location you want to bookmark. You can highlight words or paragraphs, click on an image, or simply place your cursor where you want the bookmark.
  2. Go to the Insert tab and click the “Bookmark” button in the Links section.
  3. Name your bookmark in the dialog box that appears. The name must start with a letter. You can use letters, numbers, and underscores only.
  4. Click the “Add” button to insert the bookmark.

You can add as many bookmarks as you need in a document. Just repeat the process!

When naming bookmarks, use descriptive names that you will recognize later, for example “Introduction”, “Methodology”, or “Key Findings”.

Viewing Bookmarks

By default, Microsoft Word does not show bookmark locations in a document. To view bookmark locations:

  1. Go to the File tab and click Options.
  2. Click Advanced in the left sidebar.
  3. In the Show Document Content section, check the “Show bookmarks” option.
  4. Click OK.

Word will now display bookmark names in brackets wherever you have inserted bookmarks. You can uncheck this option later once you are done editing bookmarks.

Accessing Bookmarks

There are a couple ways to jump directly to a bookmark after creating them:

Keyboard Shortcut

  1. Press Ctrl+G to open the Find and Replace dialog box.
  2. Click the Go To tab.
  3. Under Go to what, select “Bookmark”.
  4. Choose the name of the bookmark you want to go to.
  5. Click Go To.


  1. Select the text or object you want to link from.
  2. On the Insert tab, click Hyperlink.
  3. In the box that appears, click “Place in This Document” on the left.
  4. Under Select a place in this document, choose the bookmark you want to link to.
  5. Click OK.

Now clicking the hyperlinked text will take you directly to that bookmark!

Linking Between Documents

Bookmarks can also link between different Word documents, allowing you to easily jump between related files.

To link to a bookmark in another document:

  1. Create a bookmark in the other document first.
  2. In your current document, select the text or object to make into a hyperlink.
  3. On the Insert tab, click Hyperlink.
  4. Click the “Existing File or Web Page” button on the left.
  5. Locate and select the other Word file.
  6. Click the “Bookmark” button, choose the bookmark, and click OK.

Creating a Bookmark Table of Contents

You can take bookmark functionality even further by creating a table of contents that links to each bookmark.

To make a clickable bookmark TOC:

  1. On the References Tab, click Table of Contents and choose “Custom Table of Contents”.
  2. Click Options.
  3. Under Available styles, choose the TOC level styles you want included.
  4. Under TOC level, match the correct heading styles to the TOC levels.
  5. Click OK.

Your table of contents will now jump you to the bookmarked sections when clicked! Be sure to update the table of contents if you add, remove, or rename bookmarks later.

Editing, Moving, and Deleting Bookmarks

As you work with bookmarks, you may need to edit, move, or delete them:

  • Edit – Right-click the bookmarked text > Edit Bookmark > Make changes > Go To
  • Move – Drag and drop the bookmark to a new location
  • Delete – Right-click the bookmarked text > Edit Bookmark > Delete

Best Practices When Using Bookmarks

Follow these bookmark best practices in Word:

  • Use descriptive bookmark names you will recognize later
  • Bookmark major sections and subsections for easy navigation
  • Create a clickable bookmark TOC at the beginning of long documents
  • Display bookmarks temporarily while editing to avoid duplication
  • Link between documents to allow easy cross-referencing
  • Update bookmarks if content moves to avoid dead links
  • Delete unused bookmarks to keep the document organized


Learning to leverage bookmarks in Word is a must for efficiently navigating and working with long documents.

By strategically adding bookmarks at key sections and subsections, you can drastically cut down on scrolling time. Linking bookmarks into your table of contents provides quick access points for both you and your readers.

With the ability to also link across multiple documents, bookmarks become even more powerful. Follow the best practices outlined here as you incorporate bookmarks into your documents and boost productivity.

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