How to Reuse or Move a Bookmark in Microsoft Word

499461 How to Reuse or Move a Bookmark in Microsoft Word

Bookmarks in Microsoft Word allow you to mark specific locations in a document so you can easily jump back to them later. They function similarly to physical bookmarks you may place in a book to save your spot.

When editing long Word documents, reusing or moving bookmarks can be very helpful for navigating the file and keeping things organized. Here’s a step-by-step guide.

What is a Bookmark?

A bookmark in Word specifies either:

  • A location (insertion point) within a document
  • A block of selected text or other content

After creating a bookmark, you can:

  • Jump back to its location by selecting its name on the Go To tab of the Find and Replace dialog box or by clicking a hyperlink.
  • Insert its text elsewhere by adding a cross-reference field that refers to it.

When to Reuse or Move a Bookmark

Here are some common scenarios where reusing or moving a bookmark is helpful:

Navigating Long Documents

In a long report or book, reuse bookmarks to mark chapters, sections, subheadings. This provides quick access to key parts without endless scrolling.

Updating Repeated Text

If certain text needs to appear in multiple places (e.g. a company name), bookmark it once then insert it elsewhere with fields. The text then updates automatically if the source changes.

Marking Index Entries

When indexing a manual or document, bookmarks precisely mark index entries spanning multiple pages. They simplify compiling the index.

Fixing Moved Content

If a marked heading or paragraph moves in editing, its reused bookmark remains with the content. The links and cross-references don’t break.

How to Reuse or Move a Bookmark

Reusing a bookmark in Word moves its location to newly selected text or a new insertion point. Follow these steps:

1. Select the New Bookmark Location

Select the text that you want the reused bookmark to enclose, or click to place the insertion point.

Tip: To reuse a bookmark without encasing text, don’t select anything.

2. Open the Bookmark Dialog Box

Go to the Insert tab and click Bookmark in the Links group. Alternatively, use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+F5.

Bookmark Dialog box

3. Choose the Bookmark to Reuse

In the Bookmark dialog box, select the bookmark you want to reuse from the list.

For readability, bookmarks sort alphabetically by default.

4. Click the Add Button

This moves the bookmark to the new location selected in step 1.

Note: Clicking Add doesn’t create a brand new bookmark, it reassigns the existing one you picked.

After clicking Add, the bookmark now points to the new text or insertion point location.

Tips for Working with Reused Bookmarks

Follow these best practices when reusing bookmarks:

  • Use unique names – Help identify bookmarks by their purpose
  • Be descriptive – For example, Quarterly_Sales_Figues conveys more than Bookmark1
  • Check accuracy – Verify reused bookmarks reflect document changes
  • Create backups – In case bookmarks get deleted accidentally

Other Bookmark Tasks

Aside from reusing bookmarks, you can:

  • Delete – Remove unused bookmarks by selecting them in the Bookmark dialog box and clicking Delete
  • Rename – Change the name of existing bookmarks to keep them meaningful
  • Show bookmarks – Display bookmark locations in the document text

These options are also in the Bookmark dialog box.


Being able to reuse and move bookmarks is invaluable for navigating and organizing long or complex Word documents.

By marking key portions of text and using bookmark links, you can quickly jump to relevant spots without endless scrolling. Reusing a bookmark is as simple as picking it by name and clicking the Add button.

Hopefully this gives you a better understanding of how to reuse and move bookmarks appropriately when editing Word files. Leveraging bookmarks this way can save you considerable time.