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How do I change the numbering style of footnotes and endnotes in Word?

03 Jun

As part of my series on footnotes and endnotes, here’s how to change your footnote and endnote numbering styles on the go (e.g. while editing someone’s work, or when you change your mind, or when you’re working to a particular journal’s style and need to amend something you’ve already written)  in Word 2007, Word 2010 and Word 2013.

Why would I want to change my footnote or endnote numbering style?

The main reason to change your footnote or endnote numbering style is because of the style guide of whatever you’re writing the document for. For example, academic journals will usually have some form of Guidelines for Authors which will lay out (sometimes) the font, heading styles, reference styles and footnote styles that you are expected to use. If you’re re-using an article which has been rejected by another journal, or repurposing a chapter of your PhD, you might find that the style for one journal is different from what you’ve done previously.

Alternatively, you may just decide you would prefer to use roman numerals, arabic numerals, symbols or whatever for your footnotes or endnotes, and want to change them.

How to change the number format for footnotes/endnotes

In this example, we’re starting off with some footnotes or endnotes that use roman numerals (i, ii, iii …):

footnote with roman numeral

Now, we want to change them to, for example, arabic numerals (1, 2, 3 …)

First of all, go to the Footnotes menu. This is in the References tab, and there’s a whole area called Footnotes:

Footnote menu

Click the little arrow at the bottom right of the Footnotes area to access the Footnote and Endnote menu. Once you’ve clicked on the little arrow, you should see this menu:

footnote menu dialogue box word

We can see lots of things we can do here, including changing the number footnotes start at, whether they restart every chapter, etc. (these more obscure details will be the subject of another article). But for our purposes, the important features are choosing whether you’re telling Word about Endnotes or Footnotes and telling Word what the number format should be.

In this case, we’re using Endnotes (although these instructions cover both), so I’ve clicked the radio button (circle) next to Endnotes. This tells Word that we’re using Endnotes and talking about the Endnote numbering.

Going down one section, you can see that at the moment, the Number format is set to i, ii, iii … To change this, click on the down arrow to the right of the box saying i, ii, iii … (if the Endnotes are set to 1, 2, 3 or a, b, c, this will display in this box):

footnote menu change style

Once you’ve clicked that arrow, you will be able to see all of the choices you have for your footnote or endnote numbering. Now click on the format that you want to use:

footnotes change numbering style word

The Number format will now change to the one that you have chosen. Once you have got the correct format in this box, click the Apply button to apply the changes:

footnotes apply change word

When we return to our document, the endnote numbering has changed from a roman numeral (i) to an arabic numeral (1). You can change this as many times as you want.

footnote with correct style word

This article has explained how to change the number format in your footnotes or endnotes.

Related posts from this blog:

How to insert and format footnotes

How to insert and format endnotes

How to swap between using footnotes and endnotes

Please note, these hints work with versions of Microsoft Word currently in use – Word 2007, Word 2010 and Word 2013, all for PC. Mac compatible versions of Word should have similar options. Always save a copy of your document before manipulating it. I bear no responsibility for any pickles you might get yourself into!

Find all the short cuts here

 
7 Comments

Posted by on June 3, 2015 in Errors, New skills, Short cuts, Word, Writing

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

7 responses to “How do I change the numbering style of footnotes and endnotes in Word?

  1. mushtaq

    December 5, 2015 at 5:27 am

    Hi dear im an arabic data creator i am formating an arabic book and i want to insert a footnote in arabic numbering format but i cant because ms word does not has arabic numbering formate in footnote it only has
    1,2,3
    ا،ب،ج
    I,II,III

    but i want
    ١،٢،٣

    can anybody help me?

    Like

     
    • Liz Dexter

      December 5, 2015 at 7:21 am

      I’m approving this question but can’t answer it myself, I’m afraid – you’ve obviously got the Arabic script enabled and the language enabled in Word, so I’m not sure why you can’t get your format of choice. I hope another reader will be able to answer this!

      Like

       
  2. indiaholden

    September 30, 2016 at 6:37 pm

    Thank you! Worked like a charm!

    Like

     
  3. timc4frome

    October 30, 2016 at 10:37 am

    I want to change the footnote ‘break line’ form right justified to left justified and cannot find any way to do this. Any ideas?

    Like

     
    • Liz Dexter

      October 30, 2016 at 11:48 am

      Thank you for the question! I will write a new post on this with screen shots but hopefully this will help:
      Change to DRAFT view. Go to References. Select Show Notes. The footnotes dialogue box should come up. Choose View Footnote Area. Choose Footnote Separator. Use normal formatting in Word to amend it. Close.

      Note: I haven’t tested this yet, so let me know if this works!

      Like

       

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