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: Default Numbering Format for Endnotes.

Default Numbering Format for Endnotes

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated June 3, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


Ken wonders if it is possible to change the default numbering format for endnotes from lowercase Roman numerals (i, ii, etc.) to uppercase Roman numerals (I, II, etc.). While this can be done manually in the Insert Endnote dialog box, that takes several steps and a change to the default would be much easier and faster.

It is possible to change the default, but the way you do it is to change the template on which new documents are based. In most cases, this means changing the Normal template because most new documents are based, automatically, on settings stored in the Normal template. (In other words, changing the template is how you change many of Word's defaults—including endnote numbering styles.)

In order to make a change to the Normal template you need to load it directly. The location of the Normal template will vary from system to system, but you can use the Windows search feature to locate it. (Just search for Normal.dotx, Normal.dotm, or some variation of these names.) Load the template directly into Word and then follow these steps:

  1. Display the References tab of the ribbon.
  2. Click the small icon at the lower-right corner of the Footnotes group. Word displays the Footnote and Endnote dialog box.
  3. Select the Endnote radio button. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Footnote and Endnote dialog box.

  5. Using the Number Format drop-down list, select the numbering format you want to use.
  6. Click OK to close the Footnote and Endnote dialog box.
  7. Within the template, insert a dummy endnote and then delete it. (This is important so that Word actually has to "use" the settings you made.)
  8. Save and close the template file.

The next time you create a document based on that template, the endnote reference numbers will be formatted as Roman numerals (assuming you selected a Roman numeral format in step 3). This won't affect any existing documents, only new ones.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (5936) 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: Default Numbering Format for Endnotes.

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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