Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 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

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 2, 2021)

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 Office 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

Converting Field Results to Text

Fields are meant to be dynamic, providing a result based on conditions at the time they are updated. You may want to ...

Discover More

Formatted Dates Appear Differently on Different Systems

When you format a date in a specific manner, you may be surprised to see that the format changes when you open the ...

Discover More

Typing a Schwa Character in Excel

How you add special characters to Excel can differ from how you add them in other Office programs, such as Word. This tip ...

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)

Formatting Footnote Reference Marks

The reference marks that appear for footnotes in a document are normally just superscripted digits. If you want to change ...

Discover More

Automatically Adding Tabs in Footnotes

When you add a footnote to a document, Word's normal formatting adds a space after the footnote number and before the ...

Discover More

Controlling Footnote Placement

Footnotes are normally placed at the bottom of the page on which the footnote is referenced. However, Word provides some ...

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 5 - 4?

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.

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.