Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Creating a Table of Authorities.

Creating a Table of Authorities

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated May 27, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


In long legal documents, a table of authorities is often used to cite references to statutes, cases, and other sources for information referenced in the document. The table of authorities will cite the case or statute, along with the page number in the document on which the case or statute is referenced.

Word includes the ability to easily create a table of authorities. You do so by first marking citations within your document, and then instructing Word to compile the citations into your final table. (This tip deals specifically with marking citations, which is the basis of creating a table of authorities. Actually generating the table is covered in a different WordTip.)

As you are marking citations, you can specify both long and short versions of citations. For instance, a long citation may be something like "Smith v. Jones, 37 Adj. 3d 421 (1968)." The short version of the citation could be something like "Smith v. Jones" or even "Smith (1968)."

To mark citations, follow these steps:

  1. Select the long, full citation you want to use.
  2. Press Shift+Alt+I. Word displays the Mark Citation dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Mark Citation dialog box.

  4. Make any editorial changes desired to the text in the Selected Text box.
  5. Using the drop-down Category list, select the category to which this citation belongs.
  6. In the Short Citation box, edit the text to reflect the short version of the citation.
  7. Click on Mark (to mark just the current, selected instance of the citation) or Mark All (to search the document and mark all instances).
  8. Click on Cancel.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (5912) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Creating a Table of Authorities.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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