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How to edit footnote style in Word

Once you insert a footnote into your Word document, it will appear in a small size 10 with the default font. You can change the superscripted footnote reference numbers in your Word document. This article will show you how to edit footnote text style in Word. It is also possible to change the footnote numbering style or footnote size in Word. Lastly, we will show you how to edit the separator line above the footnote.

Edit footnote style in Word

The footnote format includes the font, size, color, style (bold, italic, underline), alignment, spacing, and indentation. We will show you the steps and explain them.

Before we start, you need to know how to add a footnote in a Word document. Luckily there is a tool for it in Word 2010, Word 2013, Word 2016, Word 2019, and Word 2021. Microsoft Word also has an article about changing the footnote font size and formatting.

Open the Styles pane in Word

The first step is to open the Styles pane:

  1. Click on the Home tab
  2. Go to the Styles group in the ribbon > Click on the arrow in the corner

It will automatically open the Styles pane in your Word document.

How to edit footnote style in Word

In the Styles pane, you should click on the Manage Styles icon at the bottom.

Once you click on it, it will open the Manage Styles dialog box.

Styles pane

Change settings in the Manage Styles dialog box

The next step is to change the settings in the Manage Styles dialog box.

  • Make sure you are in the Edit tab
  • Next to Sort order > Select Alphabetical
Manage styles alphabetical

Now you should go to > Select a style to edit

From there, you can select footnote reference or footnote text. You can do this by scrolling down in the selection.

  • Footnote Reference is the superscripted number or symbol in the text.
  • Footnote Text is the information you type at the bottom of the page.

You can edit both footnote styles if you want. In our example, we will first edit the footnote reference.

  1. Select the Footnote Reference by scrolling up or down
    • You can also click in the selection and type F on your keyboard
  2. Click on Modify
Footnote reference modify style

Edit the footnote reference style in the Modify Style box

It will open the Modify Style dialog box. There are not many formatting options for the footnote reference.

  • Under Formatting, you can choose the font, font size, font style, and color
  • Make changes to the footnote style > Click OK
how to change footnote numbers in word

Modify the footnote text style in Word

Follow the same steps to open the Manage Styles dialog box. This time you should select Footnote Text and click on Modify.

It will open the Modify Style dialog box for the footnote text. As you can see, there are more formatting options.

  • Under Formatting, you can change the font
  • The font size
  • Font style (bold, italic, underline)
  • Font color
  • Alignment (left, center, right)
  • Line spacing (spacing between the footnotes)
  • Space (add space before footnote text, add space after footnote text)
  • Indent (decrease, increase)
Footnote text style formatting

Edit the footnote reference numbering in Word

In the Modify Style dialog box, you can change the footnote reference or text numbering size in Word. There is also another way to make the superscript number of your footnote larger. You can even remove the superscript in the format options.

How to open the Manage Styles dialog box in Word:

  1. Select your footnote reference number in your text
  2. In the Home tab
  3. Go to the Styles group > Click on the arrow
  4. It will open the Styles pane > Click on the Manage Styles dialog box icon
Select footnote numbering and open styles pane

Open the Font dialog box

First, we opened the Styles pane to open the Manage Styles dialog box. Then follow the steps below to open the Font dialog box.

  1. In the Manage Styles dialog box (left picture) > Footnote Reference is selected > Click Modify
  2. Now the Modify Style dialog box opens up (right picture)> Click on Format in the left bottom corner
  3. Select Font
manage and modify style format font numbers

Remove the footnote superscript number

Word will open the Font dialog box, where you can change the footnote numbers.

  1. Change the footnote number font
  2. Modify the font style (bold, italic, or underline)
  3. You can change the font size of the footnote number
  4. Edit the footnote number color
  5. Here you can remove the superscript > click on the check box
  6. In the preview, you can see what the footnote style will look like
  7. After you have made your changes, click OK.
Change the footnote style

In the Modify Style dialog box, you will see that under formatting, it will change to the editing style you choose.

  • Click OK in the Modify Style dialog box
modify style footnote reference

Also, in the Manage Styles dialog box, the Preview of Footnote Reference has changed into the new editing style you chose.

  • Click OK in the Manage Styles dialog box
manage styles footnotes reference

Once you close these dialog boxes, you can see the changes made in your Word document.

  1. Then close the Styles pane by clicking on the X in the right-upper corner.

Now you will see the footnote numbering changed in your Word document. In our example, the footnotes’ reference size, font, style, and color changed in the Word document.

how to change footnote numbers in word

Conclusion

You have learned to change the footnote numbers in a Word document. By opening the Modify Style dialog box, you can edit and change the footnote size and style in Word. In the Font dialog box, you can change the footnote numbering and remove the superscript in your Word document.

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