Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007 and 2010. 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: Changing the Footnote Separator.

Changing the Footnote Separator

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 14, 2014)


If you are using footnotes in Word, you have control over where they appear in your document. In other issues of WordTips you learned that you can place them at the end of the text on a page, or at the bottom of the page itself. Regardless of the placement, Word can print a separator between your main document text and the footnotes. The default separator is a solid line, but you can either change or delete the footnote separator, as desired.

To change the footnote separator, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure you are viewing your document in Draft view.
  2. Display the References tab of the ribbon.
  3. Click the Show Notes tool.
  4. If you have both footnotes and endnotes defined in your document, Word displays the View Footnotes (Word 2007) or Show Notes (Word 2010) dialog box. (See Figure 1.) Click on the View Footnote Area radio button and then click on OK.
  5. Figure 1. The Show Notes dialog box.

  6. Using the Notes drop-down list at the top of the Footnotes window, choose Footnote Separator. Word displays the current separator in the window.
  7. Change or delete the separator, as desired.
  8. When you are satisfied with the appearance of the separator, close the footnote window.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (6033) applies to Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Changing the Footnote Separator.

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 1 + 8?

2017-03-07 08:48:21


Grant: Just like with Marlene, you need to perform step 1 -- you need to be in Draft view. If you aren't, you'll never see the drop-down mentioned in step 5.


2017-03-06 23:17:29


Unfortunately does not seem to work with Word 2016 . I can't get beyond step 3!

2016-08-18 09:24:46

Marlene: Note step 1 -- you have to be viewing your document in Draft view.


2016-08-17 23:35:07

Marlene Smith-Baranzini

Can you give instructions for working on a PC with Word 2013. The Show Notes window doesn't have a drop down that I can find that allows the choice of viewing either fns or endnotes.

2016-07-29 15:25:03

Amy Christian

I have been using Word for years and years and yet can never remember how to do this. Thanks for the quick instructions that work!

2016-05-24 22:38:40


THANKS! This was the only answer, out of all the pages I looked at, that WORKED. :)

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