I've noticed what must be a bug in Google Docs and can't figure out a feasible workaround. If you want to move (cut and paste) a section that contains a bookmark, most of the time the bookmark ID changes after the section is moved, breaking all existing links to the bookmark.

However, I was able once or twice to get it to work, but I can't figure out what was different about how I moved the section when it succeeded. It's extremely frustrating and time consuming to have manually to update each broken reference to the bookmark every time I move one.

Are there any feasible workarounds to this bug?

1 Answer 1


It is now 2021-04-25, and Google has still not fixed this defect.

This answer is not an answer to the question, but a description of some workarounds:

Use headings and not bookmarks workaround

Instead of using bookmarks, create a "heading". Then you can freely copy (or cut) and then paste (i.e., move) the entire heading to a new location inside the same Google doc. Existing links to headings seem to be be resilient to moving whole sections around an existing document (e.g., are not invalidated like bookmarks are currently).

This doesn't work for moving an entire heading between two different Google docs. So see the UUID workaround below.

UUID workaround

Insert UUID's into the Google doc.

This has the obvious downside that there isn't a "link" that points directly to it. And you have to use CTRL+f to search again once you have found it. However, the UUID is just plain text and as such is relocatable, and you can search the drive for the UUID. e.g., https://drive.google.com/drive/search?q=c9ac97ea-1f83-4d47-aab3-240f6d87d5b0

Note that the above search will not work right away. It seems that the indexing that Google Drive does has a bit of latency. I found that one or two minutes elapsed before the above URL would work.

Generating the UUIDs are easy with a Chrome Extension. The one I use as of 2021-04-25 07:49:10 here: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/uuid-generator/nflgkajcbjiooanofomjjaagkaednbel I'm advocating this one because it minimizes the amount of keyboard and mouse actions you have to do in order to get a UUID copied in to a clipboard:

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A plea for consumer activism

I encourage all docs users who see this answer to post a link to this question in the text field for feedback. Use Help/Help Docs improve from any Google Doc:

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  • It seems like Google never fixes their defects.
    – Michael
    Nov 20, 2022 at 23:39

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