Suppressing Endnotes

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 1, 2018)


Marty created a Word document with endnotes. After that, he wanted to create another version for a newspaper without the endnotes. So he displayed the Layout tab of the Page Setup dialog box and clicked on the Suppress Endnotes check box. Problem is, nothing happened; the endnotes remained and the document remained unchanged. Marty wonders how to really suppress endnotes.

The short answer is that if you want to suppress endnotes (not have them print) you need to actually delete them. (More on that in a moment.) This might lead you to question what the purpose is for the Suppress Endnotes check box; it is plainly visible in the Layout dialog box. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Layout tab of the Page Setup dialog box.

This check box isn't used to turn off the display of all your endnotes. Instead, it is used to suppress the display of endnotes within specific sections of a document, pushing them forward to the next section. This concept will take a bit of explanation.

You see, you can instruct Word to place endnotes at the end of each section of a document instead of at the end of the entire document. This is handy if you use a separate section for each chapter in an overall document and you want endnotes at the end of each chapter.

If you direct Word to place endnotes at the end of each section, you may run across a section where you want the endnotes suppressed. That is what the check box is for—to suppress the endnotes that would normally be displayed at the end of that particular section. Word dutifully does that, moving those endnotes to the end of the following section, unless they are suppressed there, as well. If you suppress the endnotes in every section of your document, then they are still printed at the very end of the document.

Note that the endnotes are not hidden or removed; they are simply suppressed for that particular section. This entire concept of controlling placement of endnotes across sections (and using the Suppress Endnotes check box) is covered in a different WordTip:

Now, back to how you create a version of your document that doesn't include endnotes. As mentioned, the short answer is that you need to actually delete them. Follow these steps:

  1. Make sure you save your document so that you don't actually lose your endnotes.
  2. Press Ctrl+H. Word displays the Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  3. Figure 2. The Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.

  4. In the Find What box, enter ^e (that's a caret and a lowercase e).
  5. In the Replace With box, clear anything that may be there. (The box should be empty.)
  6. Click on Replace All.
  7. Close the Find and Replace dialog box.

That's it; your endnotes should now be removed and you have the desired "clean" copy. You can print it out or save it under a different name. (Don't save it under the same name. That would overwrite the copy you saved in step 1 and your endnotes would be permanently gone.)

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8835) 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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What is 2 + 2?

2019-01-30 07:52:56

Deborah Poulalion

As always, your guidance has solved my problem! Thank you!

2018-06-29 12:53:53


This was new to me as well.

I guess you could also consider maybe using Hidden Text?
Select the endnotes and make the text hidden. They you could choose to either print the hidden text or not. (Options > Display > select / deselect the print hidden text box)

The endnote separator line would probably still show though, so if you also wanted to hide that it's a bit more work. You'd have to go into Draft View, then on the References tab click on Show Notes, and use the drop-down arrow in the bottom pane to access and select the separator. Then also make that hidden text.

A bit of work, but if that is ok for the user then it would mean everything can at least be contained in a single document.

2018-06-24 17:38:50

Peter Kirkpatrick

Thanks for this tip, which is new information to me.
Based on the "Suppress endnotes" explanation, I wonder if there is another workaround, which would save creating parallel files. What if Marty added a Next Page section break at the end of his document? Then Suppress Endnotes would work to place all the notes in the final (and otherwise blank) section. He could print the document with or without endnotes by controlling which sections he printed.

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