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

Margin Notes in Word

Some types of documents rely upon margin notes to the left or right of your main text. Getting these to appear in Word ...

Discover More

Creating an Inline Heading

When settling on an overall design for your document, you need to decide how you want your headings to appear. If you ...

Discover More

Converting a PDF File to a Word Document

PDF files seem to be everywhere; they are a standard way of exchanging documents with others. At some point you may want ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Footnotes for Chapters

Word allows you to add footnotes to your documents and configure how they are numbered. Sometimes the numbering can get a ...

Discover More

Viewing Footnotes

Adding footnotes to a document is essential for some types of writing. How you view those footnotes depends on the ...

Discover More

Copying and Moving Footnotes and Endnotes

If you need to move footnotes or endnotes from one location to another in a document, you can use editing techniques you ...

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 seven minus 6?

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.