(Re)Introducing the Notes Pane

The notes pane is the key to some useful Footnote and Endnote options

Now that Print Preview is the main editing view in Microsoft Word, the Notes pane has been somewhat forgotten but it’s the key to the details of Footnotes and Endnotes.


Get to the Notes Pane

Change the Word document View to Draft.

Word - View - Draft image from (Re)Introducing the Notes Pane at Office-Watch.com

Then switch to the References tab and choose ‘Show Notes’.

Word - References - Show Notes image from (Re)Introducing the Notes Pane at Office-Watch.com

Now there’s a Notes pane at the bottom of the document window with a list of the footnotes and endnotes in the document.

The Notes pane can only show Footnotes or Endnotes – not both. If a document has both type of notes you’ll be asked which you want to display. To switch between footnotes and endnotes, click Show Notes again to hide the display and click a second time to redisplay the notes and be asked again.

Yes, this is cumbersome and should not be necessary. Microsoft has taken the easy way out rather than make the Notes pane work with both Footnotes and Endnotes at the same time.

More than that, there’s some interesting options in the pull down list beyond the default display of all footnotes. This is where you customize the dividing lines and switch an individual note between footnote and endnote.


Change the dividing line

Don’t like that short dividing line between the document and footnotes/endnotes? You can change it, though it’s hardly obvious.

Go to the Notes Pane and the pull down list to see the separator options:

Word - Footnotes Pane image from (Re)Introducing the Notes Pane at Office-Watch.com

Select Footnote Separator to see the default black line.

Word - Footnotes Separator image from (Re)Introducing the Notes Pane at Office-Watch.com

Change that to almost anything you like, for example here’s an extreme change shown in the pane and in the final document.

Word - Footnotes Separator edited image from (Re)Introducing the Notes Pane at Office-Watch.com

Make changes to the Footnote Continuation Separator and Footnote Continuation Notice as you see fit.

The same applies to Endnotes. If there are Endnote in the document, the Notes Pane will show Endnote Separator , Endnote Continuation Separator and Endnote Continuation Notice for you to edit to your heart’s delight.