Footnote numbering re-starts at 1


Erin Page

I'm working on a book-length document converted from WordPerfect.

At about five places, the footnotes re-start numbering at 1, which we don't
want. I've confirmed that footnotes are set to continuous numbering. If I
insert a footnote within the area of text that has footnotes with restarted
numbering, the new footnote continues the old number--i.e., if the footnotes
are 73, 74, 75, 1, 2, 3, 4 and I insert a note between 2 and 3, the new note
is numbered 76.

Add'l info: There were sections in the document and the restarted numbering
was roughly correlated with the sections, but I don't think it was one to one
(there were dozens of section breaks in the document after I first converted
it). I've removed all sections and the renumbering is still there. Finally,
in case styling matters, the footnote references w/re-started numbered aren't
styled as Footnote Reference. Applying FOotnote Reference doesn't change the
footnote number.

Any help will be much appreciated; thanks!


One thing you could try is to Convert All footnotes to endnotes, and
then back again.

Or, Select All the footnotes (put the cursor in any note, Ctrl-A) and
Update Fields (F9).

You probably want to check for Footnote Text (a paragraph style)
rather than Footnote Reference (a character style).

Suzanne S. Barnhill

If grammatim's suggestions don't work, you may have to just recreate the
footnotes. It frequently happens in documents converted from WordPerfect
that the footnotes *look* perfectly normal, but they somehow just miss being
"real" Word-type footnotes. When this happens, the only recourse is to
create "real" footnotes out of the fake ones. Insert a new footnote
reference next to the "fake" one, drag (or cut/paste) the text from the
"fake" footnote into the new "real" one, and then delete the "fake" one (by
deleting its reference in the document). This can really go pretty quickly
once you get started.

Erin Page

Thanks, Grammatim and Suzanne. Grammatim's workarounds didn't fix it, so I'm
left with re-creating the footnotes. Suzanne, if I can impose on you--any
tips on what workflow might be most efficient?

Suzanne S. Barnhill

I would suggest working in Normal (Draft) view so that you have the footnote
pane showing the footnotes continuously; you may want to drag upward to give
the footnote pane more space. As you select a given note, Word should scroll
the document text to that note reference. Place the insertion point in the
document before or after the existing note reference and press Ctrl+Alt+F.
This will create a new note in the footnote pane. Select the text in the
dysfunctional note and drag it into the new one. Then select the reference
mark for the old note in the document and delete it.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

One caveat: When you select the text in the old note, DON'T select the
paragraph mark. If Word insists on selecting it anyway, go to Tools |
Options | Edit and disable "Use smart paragraph selection" (at least
temporarily). You want to drag (or cut/paste) just the content of the
paragraph but not the paragraph itself into the new note, leaving an empty
paragraph with the old note.

This sounds complex, but I'd be willing to bet it will go quickly.

Herb Tyson [MVP]

As an aside... for a project I recently completed, we found that footnote
numbering was restarting at 1 in several places, and was actually skipping
numbers in other places... skipping from 179 to 191, for example. This was
not a document that had been converted from WordPerfect -- it had always
been a Word document.

It turned out that one of our consultants had decided to use endnotes to
create notes for several tables, with a continuous section break after each
of those tables.

Even though footnotes were set for continuous numbering, the presence of the
endnotes and section breaks apparently were more complexity than Word could
handle (this was a 600+ page document with numerous tables and figures--one
of seven volumes totaling thousands of pages).

In our case, converting the document to Word 2007 format and then back to
Word 2003 format mysteriously "fixed" the problem. No clue why. I like to
think it was magical elves, though.

However... if Erin's document contains endnotes, then she should check to
see if they might be interfering somehow. And, even if not, if Word 2007 is
available... it might be worth a minute or two to make a copy of the problem
document, put it through the spin cycle with Word 2007, and see if it comes
out clean. If it does.. great, and you might save some time. If it doesn't,
you've only lost a minute or two (because you did it using a COPY of the
document, and the original is safe and unharmed and none-the-worse for the

Suzanne S. Barnhill

Sounds like a plan to me.

Suzanne S. Barnhill
Microsoft MVP (Word)
Words into Type
Fairhope, Alabama USA

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