Abstract In order to examine the frames of reference used for the planning of inter- and intra-word saccades, subjects were required to execute a two-saccade sequence toward one or two words. The first saccade was visually guided while the second saccade was visually or memory-guided. Results demonstrate that readers hold an internal representation of the target word in at least two different reference frames that are specific to the action to be performed: to aim for a new target word or to read it over with a second fixation. When a word is selected as a target for the next saccade, the spatial location of the second word is stored in memory. Then, the second saccade is updated with respect to the current eye position in the first word in order to aim a functional target location in the second word that is the word's center. When the second saccade is directed within the fixated word, the saccadic system uses the intrinsic features of the word to code a fixed-motor vector relative to the word's length. Our present results demonstrate that readers hold an internal representation of the saccade target in different reference frames specific to the action performed on the word.