Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. 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

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 7, 2016)


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. 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, and 2016. 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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What is six more than 8?

2017-12-27 15:11:14


Mike, I'm a fellow Mac user who was having the same problem as you: Once I converted footnotes to endnotes (by highlighting all of the footnotes, and then right-clicking and choosing "Convert to Endnote"), I didn't know how to change the default Roman numerals in an existing file to Arabic numerals.

Here's what worked:
1. Insert a "dummy" endnote by clicking anywhere in the main text.
2. Select from menu: "Insert" -->"Footnote."
3. In the popup window, select "Endnotes" and also select "Number format: 1, 2, 3, ...". Then click "Insert" to accept.
4. Now Word has converted all of your endnotes to Arabic numerals, and the last step is to find & delete the dummy endnote that you just created.

Hope that helps! - Laura

2017-05-08 15:33:45


God bless you!

2017-02-03 23:10:46

KW Grad Student

This tip was so very helpful!! Thanks!!!

2016-11-13 17:55:54

James S. Huggins

I am trying to find a way to change the footnote formatting for all the footnotes in my document. Both the 500 existing footnotes and any new ones I add.

2016-08-10 20:09:29


It was very helpful for me.
Thank you very much

2016-06-25 11:49:09


I went to Microsoft and got crazy, convoluted directions. Yours are so easy to follow and accurate. Thank you.

2016-06-06 23:15:21


Many thanks Mike for your tip about Mac, it worked.

2016-05-13 19:41:05


Hi Allen,
I have a new MAC and recently downloaded WORD (May 2016). My Reference tab does not look like previous ones I am used to or the one on your screen. When in the Reference in the ribbon, I am left with only the following options: Insert footnote, insert endnote, next footnotes, show notes. I have no small icon in the right lower corner of the footnote group. Thus, I am unable to access the Endnote radio button.
I can convert endnotes to footnotes and vice versa by VIEW>Draft, REFERENCES>highlight footnotes>Right click change to endnotes. This converts endorse with Arabic numerals to Footnotes with Roman Numerals. I need to change Rman to Arabic in my Endnotes. Thank you for the consideration of this question.

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