How to Reference Text from Other Documents in Microsoft Word

329296 How to Reference Text from Other Documents in Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word provides several methods to reference and reuse text from other documents. This saves time retyping common information and ensures consistency.

Bookmark Text in a Separate Document

You can bookmark reusable text like an address in a separate document, then reference it from other Word files:

  1. Create a document to store reusable text, like “CommonInformation.docx”
  2. Highlight the reusable text
  3. Insert > Bookmark to name the bookmark, like “CompanyAddress”
  4. In the document you want to add the text, insert a field:
    {INCLUDETEXT "C:/Documents/CommonInformation.docx" CompanyAddress}

The path and bookmark name are case-sensitive. Update the field if the file location or name changes.

Use Building Blocks

Building blocks act like reusable snippets that can be inserted into documents:

  1. Insert > Quick Parts > Save Selection to Quick Part Gallery
  2. Give the building block a name and category
  3. Insert > Quick Parts to reuse the building block

Building blocks are accessible from any document once saved.

Embed Files

You can embed a file into a Word document:

  1. Insert > Object
  2. Select Create from File and choose the file
  3. Check the Link to file box

If the original file changes, select Update Link in the embedded object to refresh it.

Reference Other Document Elements

Use cross-references to link to headings, figures, tables etc:

  1. Insert > Links > Cross-reference
  2. Choose heading, bookmark, figure etc from the Reference type
  3. Select the specific item to reference
  4. Insert as hyperlink to create a clickable link

The reference text will update if the target moves.


  • Use bookmarks for text, building blocks for reusable content, object embedding for files
  • Keep reusable elements together in dedicated documents
  • Check links and update fields if source documents move

Referencing content from other Word documents helps build consistency while keeping related information organized. With a little setup, you can simplify documentation and ensure information stays up to date.