Word Adds Extra Space before Footnote Marker

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 21, 2018)

4

Dineke edits legal texts with lots of footnotes. She inserts the footnote immediately after a period or comma (as she should), and the marker shows up as superscript (again, as it should). When using full justification, if the line has few words, Word inserts extra space between the period or comma and the superscripted footnote marker, although no space was been typed. This is not allowed in most style guides. Dineke wonders how to get Word to not add this extra space, but keep the footnote marker with the punctuation mark or word preceding it.

Word has always been a bit spotty in how it does full justification. The standard answer (which is, after all, a statement of reality) is that Word is not a page layout program. Therefore, it doesn't do justification as well as programs such as InDesign or any number of other programs that are designed for page layout.

Such answers, though, don't help folks like Dineke who rely day in and day out on Word to produce documents meant to look as good as possible. One solution is to simply turn off full justification, unless it is absolutely required by your style guide. In that case, you may want to try another solution: Turn on hyphenation. This will help minimize any spacing introduced into a line by Word.

There are a number of other justification fixes you can (and should) try, most of which are outlined at this WordTip: Getting Rid of Choppiness in Justified Text.

If you try these ideas and it still doesn't fix the problem, it could be that you really do have a space between the punctuation and the footnote marker. The easiest way to check this out is to increase the zoom factor in Word to the maximum, turn on non-printing characters, and examine what you see just before the footnote marker. Place the insertion point just before the marker, hold down the Shift key, and press the Left Arrow. If the punctuation mark is not selected, it means that there is a space (or something Word is treating as whitespace, such as a tab) before the marker. Press the Delete key and the problem should go away.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13517) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016.

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

Turning Off Hyperlink Activation

Does it bother you when you enter a URL and it becomes "active" as soon as you press Enter? Here's how you can turn off ...

Discover More

Visually Showing a Protection Status

Need to know if a worksheet or workbook is currently protected? Excel provides some tell-tale signs, but here are some ...

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

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)

Turning Off Printing of Document Properties

Getting to a printed document is often the entire purpose of using Word. The program, however, allows you to print out ...

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

Reference to a Range of Endnotes

When multiple endnote references are used at a given point in your document, you may wonder if there is a way to compress ...

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?

2018-04-30 10:16:21

Andrew

Georg, perhaps your issue is the "Use smart cut and paste" settings on the Options->Advanced menu. The first subsetting is "Adjust sentence and word spacing automatically." Try clicking that off.


2018-04-28 02:07:15

Georg

Hi Bonnie Granat,

I never said that.

Typing the quotation mark alone does not do it. When the clipboard content is inserted, a space is added between the quotation mark and the text.

And no, I do not type it myself. Word inserts it, and I want it to not do it.


2018-04-22 13:11:18

Bonnie Granat

It doesn't do that for me in Office 365's Word. Just typing an opening quotation mark does not add a space after it. Are you sure you're not automatically entering a space yourself?


2018-04-21 12:54:43

Georg

Thank you.

A simulationerne problem drives me mad when writing in word.

When I type a quotation mark and then insert test from the clipboard, Word inserts a space between the quotation mark and the inserted text.

Perhaps there is a way to stop this behavior, but I have not yet found it.

Any suggestions?

Georg


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.