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: Formatting Footnote and Endnote References.

Formatting Footnote and Endnote References

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated January 2, 2021)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


1

David writes for journals, and those journals require that footnote or endnote references be placed within parentheses and separate multiple sequential references by commas, as in (1,3,4,5,9). He wondered if there was a way to modify how Word inserts these references so that they automatically meet the criteria of the journals for which he writes.

The answer, David, is yes and no. Yes, you can modify some of the default characteristics of the footnote or endnote reference. For instance, you can make it so that they are not superscripted, or you can modify them so they are bold or a different typeface. All you have to do is modify the style that Word uses to define how footnote and endnote references appear. In the case of footnote references, you would modify the built-in style called "Footnote Reference." Likewise, for the endnote references, you would modify the "Endnote Reference" style.

Now for the bad news: You cannot modify anything about how Word inserts references other than what you can modify in the above-mentioned styles. This means that you cannot instruct Word to automatically place parentheses around the references, nor to separate them by commas. You can, however, create a macro to insert the first reference with its attendant parentheses. The following macro inserts parentheses at the insertion point, and then inserts a footnote between them:

Sub FootNt()
    Selection.TypeText Text:="()"
    Selection.MoveLeft Unit:=wdCharacter, _
      Count:=1
    ActiveDocument.Footnotes.Add _
      Range:=Selection.Range, Reference:=""
End Sub

Between the style changes and the macro, most of the work of correctly formatting your references is completed. The only thing you need to do is manually insert a comma and the next references if you have multiple sequential references.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the WordTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9720) 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: Formatting Footnote and Endnote References.

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

Pulling AutoShape Text from a Worksheet Cell

AutoShapes can easily contain text—just click on the shape and start typing away. You may want the text in the ...

Discover More

Bypassing the Startup Macro

Word allows you to create a macro that is run automatically whenever the program is started. If you want to bypass the ...

Discover More

Understanding Templates

Templates are used to store a pattern for how a document should look. As such, they can be a very powerful tool for ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Heavy-Duty Footnotes

Word allows you to add footnotes to a document, but they are rather straightforward and simple in their application. If ...

Discover More

Getting Rid of Extra Spaces at the End of a Footnote

If you use Find and Replace to get rid of trailing spaces in a paragraph, you may have noticed that it doesn't work ...

Discover More

Word Adds Extra Space before Footnote Marker

When using full justification of your text, you may get extra spaces in places you never wanted. This tip examines one ...

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}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) 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 one less than 8?

2021-01-02 17:08:23

Tomek Dluzniewski

Is there a way to have different reference formatting in the document text and in the endnote (or footnote). I would like to have numeric references in text as superscripts, and in the list of references in the endnotes as regular numbers, preferably as a number followed by a period and then a space or tab.
In the past I used a macro to reformat the reference numbers after the document was finished, but may be there is an easier way;-)
Tomek


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.

Videos
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.