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: Creating Unnumbered Endnotes.

Creating Unnumbered Endnotes

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 27, 2018)

Sam wants to add endnotes to his document, but he wants them to be unnumbered. He provides an example where page 17 of his text may contain a phrase such as "Bill Gates was invited to leave Harvard during his freshman year." No endnote reference number is included in the text, but in the back of the book he would want to see "p. 17 invited to leave...Boston Globe, Jan. 3, 1988."

There are a couple of ways you can approach this. The first is to simply define the endnote references so they are hidden text. This is done by modifying the style that Word automatically applies to endnote references. You can then turn off hidden text so that it isn't printed, and you'll have the desired effect.

Another approach is to use a custom reference symbol for your endnotes. When you display the Footnote and Endnote dialog box, set your options as you normally would. Then, to the right of the Custom Mark box, click the Symbol button. Word displays the Symbol dialog box. You want to pick the symbol that contains nothing; it should be in the very first symbol position. Click OK, and the symbol appears in the Custom Mark box. Click Insert, and the endnote is created with the "invisible" reference mark. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Footnote and Endnote dialog box.

The reference mark you entered does have some width, so it will affect the layout of your text slightly. It should still provide the desired effect, however. You'll need to repeat these steps (selecting the custom mark) for each endnote in your document.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (12376) 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: Creating Unnumbered Endnotes.

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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