Problems Using the Footnote Pane

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 23, 2017)

4

Bruce works in Word 2010 exclusively in Draft view, which was formerly known as Normal view. In older versions of Word when Bruce inserted a footnote he could, if he wanted, leave the footnote pane open, return to the main text and edit it, then go back into the footnote pane and edit anything he wanted to in there, too. In Word 2010, as soon as he leaves the footnote pane it freezes and he cannot return to it to edit what is there. He has to close the footnote pane and then reopen it by clicking on an existing footnote. Bruce wonders if there is any way he can get back to working with footnotes more as he did in the past (which is much more flexible) without having to work in Print Layout (or some other) view.

Unfortunately, we know of no way around this problem. It seems that Microsoft made the cognitive leap sometime back, most visibly with the release of Excel 2007, of assuming that everyone primarily works in Print Layout view, not in Draft view. Those who traditionally worked primarily in Draft view are, in many ways, at a disadvantage after this leap was taken.

One thing you might try is to customize the Quick Access Toolbar to add a tool to display the footnote pane. The command you want to add is called ShowNotes. It has the same effect as displaying the References tab of the ribbon and clicking the Show Notes tool in the Footnotes group.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11967) applies to Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010.

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 Numbers to Text

Got some numbers you need spelled out? Here's a handy macro that can convert numbers like "123" to words like "one ...

Discover More

Pulling Formulas from a Worksheet

The formulas in your worksheet can be displayed (instead of formula results) by a simple configuration change. You can ...

Discover More

Printing Very Large Paper Sizes

Need to print on large pieces of paper? Word has a limit on the size of the paper it can use, but that might not be the ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Inserting and Deleting Footnotes

Footnotes are essential in some types of writing. When you need to add footnotes to your documents, you'll appreciate the ...

Discover More

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

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
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 one more than 0?

2012-07-31 05:36:50

Bruce Manford

That rather tends to confirm my suspicion - a software bug (I use Office Professional 2010).


2012-07-30 08:20:42

Calvin Wilson

Interesting. I am using Office Professional Plus 2010 (version 14.0.6112.5000, 32-bit).

I don't have a problem with the footnote pane freezing.

In Draft View, I press Ctrl+Alt+F to insert the footnote number in the text. Add the note text in the footnote pane. Press F6 or click in the body of the document to move back to the body. I can go to the footnote pane at anytime with a click and edit existing notes.

Wonder if the problem has something to do with the version of Word being used?


2012-07-30 03:33:38

Gerald Thorburn

Bruce is right, Allen. For some readers, it might be worth adding there's no need to mouse-click 'Close' when returning from a Header / Footer to the main text. Hitting 'Escape' is faster. (Sorry if that's too damn obvious)

PS Your little (spam avoidance)'Sum' below reminded me of an old Accountancy joke. Ask an Accountant what 2+3 is and he will reply: 'What do you want it to be?' ☺


2012-07-28 06:11:11

Bruce Manford

Not terribly helpful really (I already have the Show Notes tool on my QAT - it really is not much of an advance).

If you think about it, the behaviour of the footnote pane in draft view is not necessarily anything to do with the changed attitude taken by Microsoft (although it might be). After all, it is not as if the footnote pane disappears when returning to the main body of the text; the footnote pane stays open (contrast that with what happens - even in page layout view - with the header or footer, which has to be closed before being able to continue editing the main text). To me this looks like a classic Microsoft software bug.

One of the advantages of working in draft view was precisely that I could navigate through footnotes if I needed to do so (and I did quite often), which is impossible in page layout view (one has to go in order through the document to find each footnote, or use the find tool).

Perhaps this is something Microsoft will deal with in the forthcoming Office 2013?


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.