Correctly Numbering Footnotes in a Chapter

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 28, 2018)

John has written a book with many chapters. Each chapter is a section within the document. There are a lot of footnotes, numbered from 1 in each section. There are some landscape-oriented illustrations in some chapters, and so each of these is its own one-page section. The problem is that footnotes start at 1 again after each landscape page, even though that page is in the middle of a chapter. John would like the numbering before and after the landscape illustration to be continuous for the whole chapter but, so far, he can't find a way of doing it.

Word allows you to modify how your footnotes are numbered, and this modification can be made for each section within your document. It sounds like, in John's case, the footnotes have been modified so that they begin with 1 every time there is a section break, so the problem occurs only with those chapters that contain multiple sections (such as for the chapters containing sections for landscape-oriented pictures).

To get around this problem, follow these steps:

  1. Place the insertion point within the first section that contains a landscape-oriented picture.
  2. Display the References tab of the ribbon.
  3. Click the small icon at the lower-right corner of the Footnotes group of the ribbon. Word displays the Footnote and Endnote dialog box.
  4. Make sure the Footnotes radio button is selected at the upper-left corner of the dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The Footnote and Endnote dialog box.

  6. Using the Numbering drop-down list, choose Continuous.
  7. Using the Apply Changes To drop-down list, choose This Section.
  8. Click Apply.
  9. Click Cancel to dismiss the dialog box.
  10. Place the insertion point within the section immediately following the section that contains a landscape-oriented picture.
  11. Repeat steps 2 through 8.

The idea is to change the way footnotes are numbered, to Continuous, for every section in the document except for those sections that actually start chapters. Those sections (and only those sections) should have their numbering (step 5) set to Restart Each Section.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (7798) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365.

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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