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: Reference to a Range of Endnotes.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 19, 2018)
Michael Smith is working with a client's document that uses endnotes extensively. At times there may be multiple endnote references at a given point in the document. These are shown in Word as, for example, (3,4,5,6). Michael's client would prefer that the reference show as (3-6), showing the range of endnotes rather than an individual enumeration of each endnote.
It is not very common to have multiple endnote references at the same point in a document, therefore it is not surprising that Word does not have an option to list endnote references by range. In fact, style guides take pains to point out that multiple note references at the same location should be "rigorously avoided" (Chicago Manual of Style, Fifteenth Edition, 16.34 and 16.37).
If the client still insists on having multiple endnote references at a single location, one solution is to select the intermediate references in the range, format them as hidden text, and then add a dash. For instance, you could select ",4,5," from the references "3,4,5,6", format the selection as hidden text, and then add a dash to provide the result of "3-6". If you have quite a few such operations to perform in your text, you can automate it slightly by using the following macro:
Sub RefListToRange() Selection.Font.Hidden = True Selection.Collapse (wdCollapseEnd) Selection.TypeText Text:="–" End Sub
Select the portion you want to hide (such as ",4,5,") and the macro does the hiding and adds the dash. In order for the selected portion to actually be hidden, you'll need to adjust whether hidden text is displayed and/or printed.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13208) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Reference to a Range of Endnotes.
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