Using Microsoft Word 2007 Part 2

In my previous post, I mentioned how to use Styles properly. Here I will explain referencing and making an automatic bibliography.

When you add an image, graph or table you usually want to put a caption underneath it. This is easily done by right-clicking the figure, and pressing “Insert Caption”. Type some text after Figure and press ok. This will produce text below the image, in the caption style. A problem lies when you want to reference that image, for example “In Figure 1, you can see…” but you have added more images before that image in the document. Word automatically updates the figure numbers in order, so your statement is now wrong, it might be Figure 2 or higher depending on the amount of images you inserted before it.

Word has a clever way of solving this, by using referencing. Type your referring sentence but leave a blank space where you want to reference the image, and put your cursor there. Go to the References tab, and press “cross-reference.”

Now you can reference any caption, quote, header you like! Select Figure from the reference type select box, and all your figure captions will appear in the box below. You can choose to reference just the label and number (e.g. Figure 1) or the page it’s on, whether it’s above or below your text etc. The best thing is this automatically updates as you add new figures to your document or change any of the captions. You can do this with headers to, in sentences like, “in <reference to chapter> I talk about…” which is useful for an introduction – especially if it is likely the chapter names will change or be reordered. 

The reference tab on the ribbon is also very good for automatic bibliographies. When you want to add a citation, click on “insert citation” and fill in the details such as author, paper name etc. This will generate a citation like (Lowman, 2010). If you go to the end of your document and press “bibliography” in the references tab, it will generate a bibliography for you of all your citations. You can choose which style you want (e.g APA or Chicago) in the ribbon. As with the contents page, this will auto-update occasionally, but you can also force it by clicking on it.

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