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: Standardizing Note Reference Placement.

Standardizing Note Reference Placement

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 13, 2016)

1

It is not uncommon to use footnotes and endnotes in many types of documents. They appear regularly in scholarly papers, providing references and text ancillary to the main text. If you edit such papers, prepared by others, you may have a need to modify the placement of endnote or footnote references to be consistent with whatever style guidelines you are using. For instance, the author may have placed the references before punctuation (such as a period or comma) and you need the reference to be after the punctuation.

Fortunately, you can easily shift around the positioning of footnote and endnote references by using Word's Find and Replace feature. Follow these steps:

  1. Press Ctrl+H to display the Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.
  2. If the More button is visible, click on it so that the full dialog box is displayed.
  3. Make sure the Use Wildcards check box is selected.
  4. In the Find What box, enter the following: (^2)([,.-])
  5. In the Replace With box, enter the following: \2\1
  6. Click either Find Next or Replace All, depending on how you want the replacements done.

The heart of this operation is the codes you enter in steps 4 and 5. The Find What codes define two groupings that you are looking for. Each grouping is surrounded by parentheses. The first grouping is the code ^2, which tells Word that you are looking for a note reference. When used with wildcard searches, this code will find both footnote and endnote references.

The second grouping consists of a pair of [brackets] within which you place the punctuation marks you want to move. In this case, a comma, period, and dash are included in the group. You can place any other punctuation mark in there that you want, except for an exclamation mark. The brackets surrounding the punctuation marks indicate to Word that you want to find a single occurrence of any of the characters within the brackets.

The result of this Find What sequence is that you want to find a note reference (endnote or footnote) followed by a single punctuation mark. If this is found, you want to replace it with what is in the Replace With box. The characters you enter there (step 5) indicate you want to replace what is found by the characters in the second group (the punctuation) followed by the characters in the first group (the note reference).

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9631) 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: Standardizing Note Reference Placement.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Formatting Axis Patterns

Create a chart in Excel can you can then modify it almost any way you desire. One modification is to adjust the color or ...

Discover More

Word 2010 Graphics (Table of Contents)

One way to enhance your documents is with Word's powerful graphics capabilities. Discover how to best utilize graphics ...

Discover More

Shortcut to Merge Cells

Need to merge a bunch of cells together on a regular basis? You'll love the two macros in this tip which can make short ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Moving Footnote Text into the Document

Need to move the contents of a footnote up into the main body of your document? You can use normal editing techniques to ...

Discover More

Converting Individual Endnotes and Footnotes

Word makes it easy to convert all your footnotes to endnotes and vice versa. You may want to only convert a couple of ...

Discover More

Viewing Footnotes and Endnotes

Footnotes and endnotes are normally visible with the rest of your document, but such visibility is dependant on which ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is seven more than 3?

2018-02-15 01:14:32

David R.

Allen-- thanks for your work and your very helpful tips.
I am having trouble with the global "find and replace" for moving footnotes per your instructions. I have tried your longer version, and also this version which uses wildcards. My dialog box keeps returning "We made 0 replacements," and on the "find next" returns "We found 0 instances."

I am using Word 2016--are the operators different?

I have written my dissertation using Scrivener, then compiled into Word.docx. In the transition, my footnote reference number routinely displays as "text period number quotation mark" if the sentence terminates in a quote. The numbers are properly place "period number" if there are no quotation marks to contend with.

Snapshot is included (see Figure 1 below) .

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

David

Figure 1. Example


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.