Adding Endnotes in Text Boxes

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 4, 2016)


Gayle edits scientific reports and proposals at her company. Due to page-count issues, she often inserts figure captions into text boxes to place them next to the figure (to save space). She is not able to insert endnote references into the text boxes, but would like to.

Word does not allow the insertion of either footnotes or endnotes into text boxes. You can, however, insert them into frames. A frame is a document object that has been around since the very earliest days of Word, but they received less and less attention since the introduction of text boxes. In many ways they are very similar to text boxes, but there are some differences (such as how they handle endnotes).

To convert a text box to a frame, simply

  1. Right-click the text box and choose Format Text Box from the resulting Context menu. Word displays the Format Text Box dialog box.
  2. Make sure that the Text Box tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Text Box tab of the Format Text Box dialog box.

  4. Click on the Convert to Frame button. Word asks if you are sure you want to convert.
  5. Click on OK.

Now you can insert your desired endnotes into the frame with no problem.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (3416) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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What is five less than 8?

2016-08-09 10:14:58

Philip Benjamin

This was very helpful. My university professor will be proud of me. Thanks!

2016-04-08 05:02:44


You could try adding a continuous section break before and after the relevant section, then copy the text, remove the text box, edit the section into 2 columns instead of the standard one and paste the text back in.

The only problem is that your footnote also picks up the 2 column format and I've not found a way around this. It will work though if your footnote is short enough!!

2016-03-09 19:05:05


I'm working in MS Office 365 for Mac and to access the footnotes you must be in Draft View then from the same menu select footnotes. You will see a drop-down menu above the footnotes where you can select separator and manually delete/edit the separator.

2015-04-17 11:07:18


I wasn't able to find a decent way to do this in Word2010, so what I did was manually entered the endnote symbol (*) into the textbox. Then outside of the textbox, inserted a endnote as normal which I changed the font colour to white.

2014-12-20 12:11:34


Hi Tessa,

I am currently using MS Office 365 but I can find such option did you manage to find it?

2014-06-25 13:25:23


Do you know how to do this same action in Word 2010? I have been searching for days trying to figure out how to do an in text citation in a text box.

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