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IEEE Citation Format

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: IEEE Citation Format.

Shoaib needs to insert a citation in a footnote so that the citation uses the IEEE format. He's not sure how to do this and wonders if there is a way that Word can do it automatically.

The answer is that there is no way to do this automatically in Word, but the program gives you enough tools that you can make sure that citations follow whatever editorial format you desire. Such a statement presupposes that you must become familiar with the format you want. In other words, you must learn what is required for IEEE citations so that you can implement them in Word. This is a pretty good introduction to the topic of IEEE citations:


To start with, you need to make sure that your footnotes or endnotes are set up properly. This is not a problem with footnotes; they are always inserted with Arabic numerals. Endnotes, however, are normally inserted using lowercase Roman numerals. If you are using endnotes, modify them (as described in other issues of WordTips) so that they use Arabic numerals.

At this point you can insert your footnotes or endnotes as you normally would, but you'll want to make sure that the footnote or endnote text matches the format required by IEEE. If you need some help with this, there are a number of online sites that can help format your citations properly for IEEE format; this is one:


Once you have the citation formatted correctly, you just need to paste that formatted citation in a regular Word footnote or endnote.

When you have finished with all your footnotes or endnotes, you need to modify the actual footnote or endnote reference so it is enclosed within brackets, as required by IEEE. (By default, Word uses superscripted footnote and endnote references.) Follow these steps:

  1. Press Ctrl+H. Word displays the Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.
  2. Make sure the insertion point is in the Find What box and that there is nothing in the box.
  3. Click the More button if it is available.
  4. Click Format and then click Style. Word displays the Find Style dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The Find Style dialog box.

  6. In the dialog box, select either the Footnote Reference or Endnote Reference style, depending on which you used in your document.
  7. Click OK to close the Find Style dialog box.
  8. In the Replace With box enter the following: [^&]
  9. Click Replace All.

At this point you should have brackets around all your footnote or endnote references. They may, however, still be formatted as superscript. If so, modify the Footnote Reference style or the Endnote Reference style, as appropriate, so it does not appear as superscript. (How you modify styles has been covered in other issues of WordTips.)

There are also a number of Word templates available that you can use to implement IEEE formatting in a document. (This is not just for citations, but for the entire document.) Here are a couple to check out:


WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (7785) 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: IEEE Citation Format.

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