Formatting the Space after an Endnote Number

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 27, 2017)

Patrick wonders how he can format endnotes to have equal spaces between the endnote number and the endnote text when he has up to 1000 consecutively numbered endnotes. As the endnote number gets larger, it takes up progressively more space, such that at endnote 900 there is almost no space between the number and the text. But at endnote 1000, since Patrick's endnote text is justified, the space between the number and text suddenly becomes larger than it is for single-digit endnotes.

The behavior that Patrick describes sounds like his endnote numbers are followed by tabs and not by spaces. This is odd, as the default behavior of Word is to follow an endnote number with a single space. If there is, indeed, a tab character after the endnote number, then the easiest way to fix this problem is to modify the default style used for endnotes (the Endnote Text style) so that there is a tab stop set where you want your endnote text to begin. You will still have large spaces after endnote numbers that have fewer digits, but your longer numbers also won't run into your text as easily.

If you want to have a consistent amount of space after each of your endnote numbers, the easiest way is to simply put the insertion point within the endnotes and then use Find and Replace. You want to replace the tab character (which apparently follows each of your endnote numbers) with two non-breaking spaces. This will give you the consistency you want.

In case you are wondering how tabs can end up after your endnote numbers, it can be easily done with a small modification to how endnotes are entered. An example of such a macro can be found at the Word MVP website:

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (7746) 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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