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: Sequentially Numbering Footnotes.

Sequentially Numbering Footnotes

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 23, 2019)

The footnote feature in Word is quite flexible, allowing you to set up your footnotes in the format that is best for your needs. Normally, footnotes are numbered sequentially, either within the document or within a section of the document. As you add or remove footnotes, Word automatically renumbers the remaining footnotes, so they are sequential.

If you notice that the numbering on your footnotes is getting out of whack (no longer sequential) there could be a couple of different reasons. This problem can crop up if you have Track Changes turned on and you do quite a bit of copying and pasting in the document. In those instances, Word may not renumber the footnotes until you resolve all the outstanding changes by accepting them or rejecting them.

Another possibility is that you have somehow changed the properties of some of the footnotes so that their numbering is no longer continuous. Finding and correcting the properties of some wayward footnotes can be bothersome but is made much easier through the use of a macro. The following macro will step through each footnote in a document and make sure that it is set for continuous numbering.

Sub MakeFootnotesAuto()
    Dim f As Footnote

    For Each f In ActiveDocument.Footnotes
        f.Range.FootnoteOptions.NumberingRule _
          = wdRestartContinuous
    Next f
End Sub

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 (12815) 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: Sequentially Numbering Footnotes.

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

Automatically Formatting Text within Quotes

Some people use quote marks around text to make it stand out. At some point you may want to treat the quoted text ...

Discover More

Getting Rid of the "Enable Macros" Notice

Do you get tired of the dialog box that says "do you want to enable macros" that is displayed when you open a workbook. ...

Discover More

Automatically Applying Custom Styles to Footnotes

Word is great in that it allows you to create styles that define how you want your text to appear. If you spend a great ...

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)

Getting Rid of Hyperlinks in Footnotes

When you add hyperlinks to a document, Word makes them active, meaning you can click them to open the target of the ...

Discover More

Converting Individual Endnotes and Footnotes

Word makes it easy to convert all your footnotes to endnotes and vice versa. You may want to only convert a couple of ...

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}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) 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 two less than 8?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


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.