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: Moving Footnote References Using Find and Replace.

Moving Footnote References Using Find and Replace

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated February 11, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


Raphael has a document in which footnote references are in the wrong place relative to the period at the end of a sentence. He wants to search for all instances where the footnote reference is before the period and move it to after the period. In some instances the period may be followed by a quote mark, in which case he would want the footnote reference after the quote mark.

This is actually rather easy to do in Word, and the reason is because the Find and Replace feature allows you to search for footnote references. Here, for instance, are the steps to correct instances of a misplaced footnote reference, a period, and a quote mark:

  1. Press Ctrl+H. Word displays the Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  2. Figure 1. The Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.

  3. Enter the following into the Find What box: ^f." (that's a caret, f, period, and quote mark).
  4. Enter the following in the Replace With box: ."^& (that's a period, quote mark, caret, and ampersand).
  5. Click Replace All.
  6. Enter the following into the Replace With box: ^&# (that's a caret, ampersand, and pound sign).
  7. Click Replace All.
  8. Enter the following into the Find What box: ."# (that's a period, quote mark, and pound sign).
  9. Make sure there is nothing in the Replace With box.
  10. Click Replace All.
  11. Enter the following into the Find What box: ." (that's a period and quote mark).
  12. Click the More button, if it is available.
  13. Put the insertion point in the Replace With box.
  14. Click the Format button and choose Font. Word displays the Replace Font dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  15. Figure 2. The Replace Font dialog box.

  16. Make sure the Superscript check box is cleared.
  17. Click on OK.
  18. Click Replace All.
  19. Close the Find and Replace dialog box.

That may seem like a lot of steps, but it goes pretty quick. Steps 1 through 4 essentially replace any instances of "reference period quote" with "period quote reference period quote." This is necessary because you can't use the ^f code (which finds a footnote reference) in the Replace With box. Instead, you use the ^& code to replace what you find with what you searched for.

The second replace operation, in steps 5 and 6, replaces "reference period quote" with "reference period quote pound." The pound sign is used simply as a marker that will be keyed upon in steps 7 through 9. After step 6 you really end up with "period quote reference period quote pound." Steps 7 through 9, then, eliminate the final "period quote pound," leaving the desired "period quote reference."

There is one more operation that needs to take place, however, and it is done in steps 10 through 16. After all the previous steps, the period and the quote mark are left not as normal text, but as superscript, just like the footnote reference. The purpose of steps 10 through 16 is to change them back to regular text.

Remember, these steps only take care of the initial desire to change "reference period quote" to "period quote reference." You still need to go through similar steps to change "reference period" to "period reference." In fact, you can use the same 17 steps you previously went through, but leave out any quote marks from what you search for and replace with.

There is an even shorter way of doing the replacements, using wildcard searches. Just follow these steps:

  1. Press Ctrl+H. Word displays the Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.
  2. Click the More button, if it is available.
  3. Make sure the Use Wildcards check box is selected.
  4. Enter the following into the Find What box: (^2)(.[""]) (note that there is both a straight quote and smart quote within the square brackets).
  5. Enter the following in the Replace With box: \2\1 (that's a backslash 2 backslash 1).
  6. Click Replace All.
  7. Enter the following into the Find What box: (^2)(.) (note that the only difference between this and what you searched for in step 4 is that the square brackets and quote marks are missing).
  8. Click Replace All.
  9. Close the Find and Replace dialog box.

These steps take care of all instances of "reference period quote" and "reference period." You should also note that these steps, using the wild card search, will also change the order of any endnote references within the document. So if you document has both footnotes and endnotes, and you don't want the position of the endnote references modified, you should use the first 17-step process instead of the wild card search.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (12459) 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: Moving Footnote References Using Find and Replace.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Auto Creation of an Acronym List

If you use a lot of acronyms in your documents, you may want a quick way to compile those acronyms and their definitions ...

Discover More

Using the Object Browser

Efficiently navigating through a document, particularly as it gets longer, can be a perpetual challenge. One tool you can ...

Discover More

Opening the Document Map by Default

The Document Map can be a handy tool to use when navigating and working with a large document. If you want the Document ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (menu)

Preserving Bookmarks During Replace Operations

When you do a search and replace operation in Word, it is possible that you could inadvertently wipe out a bookmark or ...

Discover More

Finding the Previous Occurrence

Using Word's Object Browser, it is very easy to move among different instances of what you want to search in your ...

Discover More

Copying Found Items to a New Document

Word allows you to use its searching capabilities to easily find multiple items in a document. What if you want to copy ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 9 + 7?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Videos
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.