Multiple Footnotes with the Same Reference in MS Word

Dennis Faas's picture

Recently a reader wrote to me about Multiple Footnotes with the same reference. Her question was:

"I know how to do footnotes & cross referencing (MSWord 2003). My question is, if I am using the same reference for 2 or 3 other footnotes, is the reference supposed to show at the bottom of each page that a footnote is made, or does the reference only show on the first page that has the first footnote? For example, if I have a footnote (#1) on page 2, my reference will show at the bottom of page 2. If I have a footnote on page 4 that uses the exact same reference as #1, is the reference supposed to show at the bottom of page 4 also, or, since it is also a #1 footnote, will it just show on page 2 and people just know to go back to page 2 to see the reference?"

My reply:

If you are using cross-references, the footnote does not show up at the bottom of a page where you use the cross-reference. If you need to have the footnote at the bottom of every page where it is referenced, you might be better served by inserting a new footnote and using the same text as your original footnote.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with cross-referencing footnotes, see below.

In some scholarly and academic documents there may be footnotes with cross-references. MS Word allows you to automatically cross reference footnotes. Follow the steps below to learn how:

  1. In the text in your document, select the footnote reference mark that you want to cross-reference.
  2. Assign this footnote reference mark a bookmark name.
  3. Position your insertion point in the footnotes where you want to place the cross-reference.
  4. Press CTRL + F9 to insert field brackets.
  5. Make sure the insertion point is between the brackets.
  6. Type ftnref followed by the name of the bookmark used above.
  7. Click on F9 to update the field information.

Word replaces the field with the footnote number to which the bookmark was assigned.

Another way to accomplish this is below:

  1. Insert your primary footnote as you usually would.
  2. Position the insertion point where you want the secondary reference to the original footnote to appear.
  3. Click on Insert | Cross-reference.
  4. Word displays the Cross-reference dialog box.
  5. Using the Reference Type drop-down menu, select Footnote.
  6. Word will display a list of footnotes in the dialog box.
  7. Select the footnote you want used for this reference.
  8. Click Insert.
  9. The Cross-reference is inserted but is not formatted as a footnote reference.
  10. Click on Close to close the Cross-reference dialog box.
  11. Your insertion point should be just to the right of the cross-reference you have just inserted.
  12. Holding down the SHIFT key, press the LEFT ARROW.
  13. The cross-reference should now be selected.
  14. Click SHIFT + F9.
  15. The contents of the field used for the cross-reference are displayed. It will look something like {NOTEREF _Ref 521136008 \h}.
  16. Position your insertion point between the last space and the closing brace in the field and type \f.
  17. This field switch will cause the field to u se the same formatting as your other footnote references. The field should now look like this:
  18. {NOTEREF _Ref 521136008 \h \f}
  19. Click on SHIFT + F9 to collapse the field.
  20. Click on F9 to update the field.

I hope this has cleared up any multiple footnote questions you may have had.

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