Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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 June 8, 2016)

2

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, and 2013. 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

Extending a Paragraph into the Left Margin

Word allows you to format a paragraph so that it extends into the left margin of the document. This is done by setting a ...

Discover More

Using Document Properties to Ensure Consistent References

If you need to refer to the same information over and over in a document, you may be interested in using custom document ...

Discover More

Summing Only the Largest Portion of a Range

Given a range of cells, you may at some time want to calculate the sum of only the largest values in that range. Here is ...

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Inserting Footnotes Using Custom Footnote Marks

Automatic footnotes are easy to insert in Word documents. The default settings are usually fine for most projects. ...

Discover More

Changing the Way Footnotes Are Numbered

Most footnotes in a document start numbering with the number 1 and proceed from there through the rest of your document. ...

Discover More

Including Footnotes and Endnotes in Word Counts

When you have Word calculate how many words there are in a document, it normally doesn't pay attention to text in ...

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 three minus 3?

2018-03-28 13:49:41

Dbr

Thank you so much for this tip, Allen. Was incredibly frustrated with my footnote numbering but once I turned off Tracking Changes and then accepted and rejected all the changes that had been made (five people have "touched" this document) my footnotes automatically changed to what they're supposed to be. THANK YOU!!!


2014-12-16 13:15:49

At College

Ran the macro but footnotes are still not sequential. This document has been worked on a lot with track changes.


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.