I want the numbers in my footnotes not to be superscripted, and I want the numbers to be followed by a dot and a tab

Article contributed by Dave Rado

Unfortunately, the same character style (Footnote Reference) is used by the footnote reference and by the number in the footnote itself; and Word offers no way of changing this via the user interface. Many style manuals recommend that in the footnotes themselves, the footnote number should not be superscripted, but that it should be followed by a period (it isn't) and should have a hanging indent (it doesn't). Unsuperscripted endnotes are in even more common use than unsuperscripted footnotes, and again, Word does not cater for them.

To get round this, you firstly, you need to redefine the paragraph style Footnote Text such that it has a hanging indent. Select Format + Style + Modify + Format + Paragraph; set the Left Indent to (let's say) -0.25" and the Hanging indent to (let's say) 0.25".On the Modify Style dialog, tick the Add to template checkbox. Click OK, and Close, and then hold the Shift key down and select File + Save All, to ensure that the changes are saved to your template.

Having redefined the Footnote Text paragraph style, you can select the number in the footnote every time you insert a footnote; press Ctrl+Spacebar to remove the Footnote Reference character style, and type a dot and a tab immediately after the number.

However, it is simpler to fix the problem using a macro.

Once you've defined the Footnote Text paragraph style to have a hanging indent, create a macro called InsertFootnote. By giving it that name, it will automatically intercept Word's InsertFootnote command. If you store the macro in a Global template it will be available regardless of which template is in use. Paste the following code into your macro, save your template, and Bob's your Uncle:

Sub InsertFootnote()

ActiveDocument.Footnotes.Add Range:=Selection.Range

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

End Sub
  

If you want to use endnotes, then once you've defined the Endnote Text paragraph style to have a hanging indent, you could use the following variation on the same theme to automatically insert an Endnote formatted correctly, sans superscript, when the Insert + Footnote menu is invoked: 

Sub InsertFootnote()

ActiveDocument.Endnotes.Add Range:=Selection.Range

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

End Sub

By storing one or other of these macros in your templates, you can ensure that the default behaviour of the Insert + Footnote command is always appropriate for the type of document in use (and save yourself hours).

See also:

Why do my footnotes sometimes end up on a different page from their references in the text?

I have a footnote reference in a column, and I want the footnote to span both columns. Is this possible?


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