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Using Multiple References to the Same Footnote

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Using Multiple References to the Same Footnote.

Word includes a feature that allows you to add footnotes and endnotes to your documents. This can come in real handy for some type of scholarly or scientific documents. In some instances, however, you may have a need for a single footnote to have multiple references within a document. For example, some scientific journals require that footnotes not be repeated, but that the same footnote reference be repeated within the main text, and that the references go to a single footnote. Thus, the document may have many occurrences of the same footnote reference.

Normally, Word allows only a one-to-one relationship between footnote references and footnotes. If you have a need for multiple references to the same footnote, this doesn't help you. Instead, you should follow these steps:

  1. Insert your first (primary) footnote as normal.
  2. Position the insertion point in the document where you want the secondary reference to the footnote.
  3. Choose Cross-reference from the Insert menu. Word displays the Cross-reference dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Cross-reference dialog box.

  5. Using the Reference Type drop-down list, choose Footnote. Word displays a list of footnotes in the dialog box.
  6. Select the footnote you want used for this reference.
  7. Click Insert. The cross-reference is inserted, but it is still not formatted as a footnote reference.
  8. Click on Close to dismiss the Cross-reference dialog box. The insertion point should be just to the right of the cross-reference you just inserted.
  9. Hold down the Shift key as you press the Left Arrow. The cross-reference should be selected.
  10. Press Shift+F9. The contents of the field used for the cross-reference are displayed. It should look similar to the following.
  11. { NOTEREF _Ref477318004 \h }
  12. Position the insertion point between the last space and the closing brace in the field.
  13. Type \f. This field switch causes the field to use the same formatting as your other footnote references. The field should now appear similar to the following:
  14. { NOTEREF _Ref477318004 \h \f}
  15. Press Shift+F9 to collapse the field.
  16. Press F9 to update the field.

One other thing you might want to keep in mind: If you add new footnotes after following the above steps, the footnote references are automatically updated, but the cross-reference fields are not. To update those you'll need to update the cross-reference fields. The easiest way to do this is to press Ctrl+A (which selects the entire document) and then press F9 (which updates all the fields in the document).

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (70) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Using Multiple References to the Same Footnote.

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Comments for this tip:

Jean-Pierre    01 Dec 2016, 09:46
Excellent merci ├ža fonctionne parfaitement :)
Jerneja    07 Jun 2016, 08:20
*I'd never:) figure it out ...
Jerneja    07 Jun 2016, 08:19
Great help, it worked right away and I'd figure it out by myself!:)
zyad alsayed    04 Apr 2016, 03:47
I had the same problem but with Endnotes ant it worked

That helped me a lot.. this problem was a headache .. thank you :)
Alex    23 Jan 2016, 14:09
How can I please group references in a text to more than 2 footnotes - i.e. notes (4-7)?
Vytas    08 Nov 2015, 03:15
Nice and clear.
Igor V.    25 Sep 2015, 12:07
Great tip, very well and nicely explained. Worked perfectly for what I needed. Excellent job.
Thank you very much for this.
abc    18 Jun 2015, 19:53
Sorry for the previous comment, we would not use different symbols for the same footnote.
And when copied and pasted a footnote symbol, it created duplicate footnote text :(

So whatever given by Allen Wyatt is good.

For word 2013 just choose "Footnote number (formatted)" while inserting cross reference. Then no need to manipulate the reference code by using Shift+F9 as stated in the original post.
abc    18 Jun 2015, 19:26
If different symbols need to be used for the same footnote, then this is useful. I needed same symbol, I just copied original footnote symbol and pasted . it worked perfectly!
majid    07 May 2015, 19:51
very helpful ,the main tip and comments.thanks a lot
Susan    03 Apr 2015, 13:51
THANK YOU! Great instructions and they worked perfectly for me in Word 2013! Can't believe Microsoft doesn't have anything that addresses this (not uncommon) scenario in their help, but they don't. You just saved me HOURS of time! Thanks!
John    29 Mar 2015, 08:38
This doesn't help me. It is easy to insert a reference-looking number. What I want is when I go back in the text and insert another reference, for this number to change automatically to match the footnote. It doesn't.
Anon    25 Feb 2015, 15:57
Unfortunately this doesn't work if you're trying to insert the footnote(s) into an Equation. (I've just fluffed the format using exponential.)
Brian    23 Feb 2015, 08:46
Great tip. After using the Insert feature, don't mess about with formatting. Simply use format painter from the previous footnote. Much easier than anything else.
Najebullah    12 Feb 2015, 02:03
It was really helpful
IngeD    15 Oct 2014, 06:04
When in the Cross-reference dialog box, in the 'insert reference to' drop down list, choose the "Footnote number (formatted)". Then your crossreference-footnote will be correctly formatted without the need to use Schift+F9 editing.
Don't know if this option is always available though but you can try.
Mike H    27 Sep 2014, 22:29
the formatting '\f' tip is what I was after and goes the extra yard in this tip. thanks.
Donovan    15 Aug 2014, 12:31
This was very well done. I did not know about the /f option previously. The other tip about updating cross-references was also very helpful. Thank you.
Danielle    21 May 2014, 16:15
this is awesome! thanks for the help.
Wayne    06 May 2014, 15:54
Great tip - thank you very much.
Mariana    23 Oct 2013, 10:38
After step 5, before you click "Insert": Under "Insert reference to:" select "Footnote number (formatted)". Now you don't need to do steps 8 to 13. But, no matter how you insert it, the footnote text doesn't appear on rollover as it does for the first one.
MichaEL B    30 May 2013, 14:51
I tried doing this, but it isn't working as I want. Instead of taking me to the end/footnote, it is taking me to the first occurrence of the endnote in the document.

How can I fix this?
robinottawa    14 Mar 2013, 11:09
Agree. Clearly explained, as far as you were able with this convoluted coding (yuck!).
Melody    24 Jan 2013, 22:29
Great tip!! helped me a lot, even though i used end notes instead of foot notes...

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