Problems Using the Footnote Pane

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 2, 2013)

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. ...

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What is 7 + 5?

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?


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