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Footnotes in Two Columns

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: Footnotes in Two Columns.

Word includes the ability to place footnotes at the bottom of each page in your document. The footnotes are placed into the same number of columns as you are using in the document. Thus, if your document uses two columns, then the footnotes will be placed into two columns, as well. In general, each of the footnotes appears under the same column in which the footnote reference appears.

If you want your footnotes to appear in a different number of columns than your document does (for instance, two columns of footnotes when the body is a single column), you are out of luck; Word can't handle it. You could work around the problem by "faking" the footnotes, meaning to enter them manually (as regular text) and placing the notes themselves in a multi-column table placed at the bottom of the page. Of course, your footnotes won't automatically renumber and they won't flow from page to page as you add or remove text from the body of the document.

If your desire is to have your footnotes in a single column while your text body is in multiple columns, the folks at the Word MVP site have come up with a workaround. You can find it here:

http://word.mvps.org/FAQs/Formatting/FtnoteSpanColumns.htm

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (322) 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: Footnotes in Two Columns.

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Comments for this tip:

JCB    21 Jul 2013, 23:51
I agree Majid. I have some pages with lots of references, so the single list creates a lot of white space in the bottom right of the page.
Majid    15 Mar 2013, 15:58
As a matter of fact, I have always felt uncomfortable with this problem when I am typing my works. I wish one day the programmers of Microsoft can deal with this problem and add the ability of putting the footnotes in more than one column while the main body of the text is in single-column format.

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