Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. 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: Converting to Automatic Endnotes.

Converting to Automatic Endnotes

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated February 29, 2020)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


Teresa has a 300-page document with endnote reference numbers inserted in superscript, but the endnotes are merely a list at the end of the document; they are normal text. She wonders if there is a way to turn these into dynamic endnotes or if she has to do the conversion by hand.

Word does not provide a way to convert from manual notes to its automatic system. Instead, you need to choose each endnote from the end of the document, copy it to the Clipboard, locate the endnote marker in the text, delete it, insert one of Word's endnotes, and then paste the endnote text into the actual endnote. Having gone through this manual process several times, I can personally tell you that it gets very tiring very fast.

The solution is to use a macro to do the conversion for you. (Tedious work like this is exactly what macros are great for.) The macro isn't a short one, though, as there are a lot of steps that have to be gone thorough, as already recounted. So, rather than reinvent the wheel, I'll simply refer you to Greg Maxey's site where he discusses this very problem:

https://gregmaxey.com/word_tip_pages/convert_reference_notes_to_dynamic_footnotes.html

Greg provides a good discussion of how such a note conversion should occur, along with a macro that will handle the conversion. It is flexible, in that it allows you to indicate how the note reference IDs in your document appear, along with how the notes are enumerated at the end of the document.

Another possible solution is to use a third-party add-in that does the conversion for you. One such solution is called NoteStripper, available from the good folks at The Editorium. You can find the product here:

http://www.editorium.com/15078.htm

Notice that you can try out the product for 45 days, after which time you'll need to pay a nominal fee for it. The product will do lots more than just converting from manual to automatic notes. In that way it is much more comprehensive than the macro provided at Greg Maxey's site. You'll want to check it out and see if it will work for you.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9141) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Converting to Automatic 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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