Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 9, 2015)
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.
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, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Formatting Footnote and Endnote References.
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!
When you insert footnotes in a document, Word allows you to modify the formatting applied to the footnote references. ...Discover More
When multiple endnote references are used at a given point in your document, you may wonder if there is a way to compress ...Discover More
Most scholarly papers need to have both footnotes and a bibliography. The two are closely related, as they provide ...Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
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.