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Continuous Formatting for Footnotes

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: Continuous Formatting for Footnotes.

Aryeh has a document that has quite a few footnotes in it. Each footnote, of course, starts on a new line in the footnote area at the bottom of each page. Aryeh is wondering if it is possible to have the footnotes appear one right after the other, without each of them starting on a new line.

There is no way of doing this in Word. Footnotes are inserted in a document as entire paragraphs, and you cannot go into the footnote area of the document and start deleting the paragraph marks at the end of each footnote. (This would be required in order to get the footnotes into one long paragraph, so that they start one right after the other.) When you try to delete them, Word simply refuses to allow the edit.

One thing you can try is to hide the paragraph mark instead of trying to delete it. In the footnotes section of your document, simply select each paragraph mark and then format it as hidden text. When you print the document (provided you instruct Word not to print hidden text), the paragraphs used for the footnotes should all run together. Unfortunately, there is no way to make this hiding of the paragraph marks automatic; you must do it manually.

Of course, this may be for the best. While "closing up" all the footnotes in this way may save quite a bit of space over the course of an entire document, such formatting may not be in the best interest of readers; it definitely would make the footnotes more difficult to locate and read.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (491) 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: Continuous Formatting for Footnotes.

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