Footnotes for Chapters

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 25, 2016)

Mary Anne is preparing an academic text that has footnotes. The text has several chapters, each of which she has placed in a separate section. She has configured the footnotes to start at number 1 at the beginning of each section (chapter). But there's a problem: some of the chapters contain landscape as well as portrait pages, which she has to set in sections, too, so there are sections within sections. Mary Anne wonders how to get Word to start renumbering the footnotes at the beginning of each chapter, not each separate section.

Believe it or not, the easiest way to deal with this is to break up your document into individual files for your chapters. That way "sections within sections" becomes "sections within documents" and the problem goes away. It may, depending on your document and how you envision working with it, introduce other problems, but it is still the cleanest way to deal with this particular problem.

If you cannot create individual documents for each chapter, there is a workaround you can try. This approach should only be taken as you are about done editing the document. For those sections where the footnote numbering must continue, place the insertion pointer within the section and display the Footnote and Endnote dialog box. (See Figure 1.) Display the Reference tab of the ribbon and click the small icon at the bottom-right of the Footnotes group.

Figure 1. The Footnote and Endnote dialog box.

The Numbering drop-down list should already be set to Restart Each Section, but you also need to change the Start At field so that the footnotes in that particular section will start with the number you expect. Setting the Numbering drop-down list to Continuous won't work (as you might expect), as it calculates a starting footnote number based on the total number of footnotes in the document as a whole; it doesn't look at the ending footnote number in the previous section and simply increment it. (That would, of course, be too easy!)

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (12598) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013.

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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