Introducing the Notes Pane for Footnotes and Endnotes

The Notes Pane is the key to some useful Footnote and Endnote options

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

Get to the Notes Pane

Switch to the References tab and choose ‘Show Notes’.

Word - References - Show Notes image from (Re)Introducing the Notes Pane at

The Notes pane is only available in Web Layout or Draft View (on the View tab). If in Outline view, choosing ‘Show Notes’ will switch Word to Draft view. In Print Layout view, choosing ‘Show Notes’ just moves the cursor to the next footnotes without the Notes pane.

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.  See Delete or change the separator line for Footnotes and Endnotes

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