Changing Endnote Numbering Style

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated March 4, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


Daniel has a document that has many endnotes in it. The style guide he needs to follow states that endnotes should be an Arabic number, not superscripted, followed by a period. This is not the way that Word creates the endnote numbering. (Word superscripts the endnote number and doesn't include the period.) Daniel wonders about the easiest way to get Word to follow the style that he requires.

At first blush you might think you could change how the endnote numbering appears by adjusting the styles used in Word. There are actually two styles specifically designed for controlling how endnotes look: Endnote Reference and Endnote Text. The Endnote Text style defines how the text of the endnote appears. The Endnote Reference (as its name implies) defines how the reference number for the endnote appears.

The problem is, the Endnote Reference style is automatically applied to two things when you insert an endnote—to the endnote reference in the document itself and to the endnote reference that appears in the endnotes. If you change the style, you automatically change how both of these look. Daniel doesn't need the endnote references within the document changed; he only needs them changed in the numbering in the endnotes themselves.

So, what is a person to do? Assuming that you have the "Arabic" portion figured out—it can be specified when actually inserting your endnotes—you only need to figure out how to remove the superscript and add the period. This is best done by using Find and Replace to implement a workaround. Follow these steps:

  1. Display your document in Draft view. (Display the View tab of the ribbon and click the Draft tool.)
  2. Display the References tab of the ribbon.
  3. Click the Show Notes tool in the Footnotes group. Word displays the notes pane just below your document. (If you have both footnotes and endnotes in your document, Word asks you which you want to display. You should display the endnotes.)
  4. Place the insertion pointer at the beginning of the first endnote in the notes pane.
  5. Press Ctrl+H. Word displays the Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.
  6. Click the More button, if it is available. (See Figure 1.)
  7. Figure 1. The Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.

  8. In the Find What box, enter "^e" (without the quote marks). This specifies that you want to search for endnote references.
  9. In the Replace With box, enter "^&." (again, without the quote marks). This specifies that you want to replace what is found with whatever is in the Find What box (the endnote mark), followed by a period.
  10. With the insertion point still in the Replace With box, click the Format button and choose Font. (If you can't see the Format button, you'll need to click the More button first, as noted in step 6.) Word displays the Find Font dialog box.
  11. Make sure the Superscript check box is cleared.
  12. Click OK to close the Find Font dialog box.
  13. Click Replace All.

You can try these steps without displaying your document in Draft view, but if you don't use that view, you won't see the notes pane, mentioned in step 3. I prefer to use Draft view because it provides a "cleaner" way to work with just the endnotes in the notes pane.

There is one other gotcha to watch out for is that these steps affect any existing endnotes, not future ones. Thus, if you add any new endnotes, you'll want to do the steps again, but don't click Replace All. Instead, step through the endnotes in the Find and Replace dialog box and change only those new endnotes you added.

An entirely different approach is to use a macro to add your endnotes. The macro can take care of the special formatting.

Sub AddEndnote()
    With ActiveDocument
        With .Range(Start:=.Content.Start, End:=.Content.End).EndnoteOptions
            .Location = wdEndOfDocument
            .NumberingRule = wdRestartContinuous
            .StartingNumber = 1
            .NumberingStyle = wdNoteNumberStyleArabic
        End With

        .Endnotes.Add Range:=Selection.Range
    End With

    With Selection
        .Paragraphs(1).Range.Characters(2) = ""
        .InsertAfter "." & vbTab
        .Collapse wdCollapseEnd
    End With
End Sub

This macro changes how endnotes are numbered such that they use Arabic numbers and start at endnote 1. It then inserts an endnote, deletes the space that follows the endnote reference, changes the endnote reference so it isn't superscripted, and finally adds a period and tab character after the endnote reference.


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 (13458) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021.

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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2023-07-21 14:24:28


This tip was just what I was looking for. I am still having one issue. When I hover over the endnote superscript number in my manuscript, the popup with my endnote starts with a period. Is there a way to put a period with the number in the endnotes that won't show in the popup? It seems like it would be choosing a numbering option (such as in the macro above) only specifying a different number style. But I can't seem to find a list of them.

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