Use a screen reader to read and edit footnotes and endnotes in Word

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This article is for people who use a screen reader program with the Office products and is part of the Office Accessibility content set. For more general help, see Office Support home.

Use Word 2016 with your keyboard and Narrator, the built-in Windows screen reader, to read and jump to footnotes and endnotes in your Word 2016 documents. You can also add new footnotes and endnotes as well as modify, convert, and remove existing ones. Usually, footnotes appear at the bottom of the page and endnotes come at the end of the document or section.

Notes: 

In this topic

Read a footnote

When reading or navigating your document, footnote references are automatically read along with the text. You can also quickly navigate to and read just the footnotes in your document.

  1. After opening a document that has footnotes, press Alt+S to open the References tab.

  2. To select the Next Footnote option, press O, N to go to the next footnote reference number in your document.

    Tip: To go to the previous footnote reference number, press P.

  3. To jump to the footnote text at the end of the page, press Alt+S, and then H. If you have both footnotes and endnotes in your document, the Show Notes window pops up. Press Enter to go to footnotes.

  4. To start reading the footnotes, press Caps Lock+M.

  5. To return to the current footnote reference number in the document body text, press Alt+S, H.

Read an endnote

When reading or navigating your document, endnote references are automatically read along with the text. You can quickly navigate to and read just the endnotes in your document.

  1. After opening a document that has endnotes, press Alt+S to open the References tab.

  2. To select the Next Footnote option, press O, X to go to the next endnote reference mark in your document.

    Tip: To go to the previous footnote reference mark, press V.

  3. To jump to the endnote text at the end of the document, press Alt+ S, and then H. If you have both footnotes and endnotes in your document, the Show Notes window pops up. Press Shift+Tab+Down arrow key, then press Enter to go to endnotes.

  4. To start reading the endnotes, press Caps Lock+M.

  5. To return to the current endnote reference mark in the document body text, press Alt+S, H.

Jump to a footnote or endnote

You can move to and from a footnote or endnote reference while reading a document with Narrator.

  1. After opening a document that has footnotes or endnotes, place the cursor on a footnote or an endnote reference. Narrator announces: “Footnote reference” or “Endnote reference”.

  2. To move to the footnote reference text at the end of the page, press Caps Lock+Insert. Narrator announces the footnote or endnote reference, such as “Footnote 1”.

  3. To read the footnote or endnote, press Caps Lock+M.

  4. To return to the original footnote or endnote mark in the document body text, press Caps Lock+Shift+Insert.

Add a footnote

Word 2016 inserts a reference mark in the body text and adds the footnote reference text at the bottom of the page.

  1. After opening your document, place the cursor where you want to insert the footnote.

  2. To open the References tab, press Alt+S.

  3. To select the Insert Footnote option, press F. Narrator announces the reference number or mark added to the text, and the focus moves to the bottom of the page.

  4. Write the footnote reference text.

  5. When you’re done with the reference text, press Alt+S, H to return to the footnote reference mark insertion point in the document body text.

Add an endnote

Word 2016 inserts a reference mark in the body text and adds the endnote reference text at the end of the document.

  1. After opening your document, place the cursor where you want to insert the endnote.

  2. To open the References tab, press Alt+S.

  3. To select the insert endnote option, press E. Narrator announces the reference mark or number added to the text, and the focus moves to the end of the document.

  4. Write the endnote reference text.

  5. When you’re done with the reference text, press Alt+S, H to return to the endnote reference mark insertion point in the document body text.

Customize footnotes and endnotes

You can change the way footnotes and endnotes appear in your document. For example, you can change the number format or the location where the reference text shows up in your document.

  1. After opening a document that has footnotes or endnotes, press Alt+S to open the References tab.

  2. To open the Footnote and Endnote dialog, press Q.

  3. In the dialog, you can select, for example:

    • Where your footnote or endnote will appear in the document.

    • The numbering format to use for each.

    • The number you want to start at.

    • Whether to use continuous numbering for the whole document, or restart at each section.

    • Whether the defined changes are applied to the whole document or just the section you’re in.

    To move between the dialog fields and buttons, press the Tab key. Use the arrow keys to go through the options in a field, and press Enter to select an option.

  4. To apply the changes to a document with existing footnotes or endnotes, press the Tab key repeatedly until you hear Narrator announce the Apply button. Press Spacebar to apply the changes to the document and to close the dialog.

    To apply the settings to a document without existing footnotes or endnotes, press the Tab key repeatedly until you hear Narrator announce the Insert button. Press Spacebar to insert a footnote or an endnote to the document and to close the dialog.

Convert all footnotes or endnotes

You can convert footnotes to endnotes or vice versa.

  1. After opening a document that has footnotes or endnotes, press Alt+S to open the References tab.

  2. To open the Footnote and Endnote dialog, press Q.

  3. Press the Tab key repeatedly until you hear Narrator announce the Convert button, then press Spacebar to select it. The Convert Notes dialog opens.

  4. In the Convert Notes dialog, use the arrow keys to change the selections until the option you want is selected. Press the Tab key to move to the OK button, and press Spacebar to select it. The Convert Notes dialog closes, and the focus returns to the Footnote and Endnote dialog.

  5. In the dialog, the Insert button is selected. Press Spacebar to perform the conversion and to close the dialog.

Delete footnotes or endnotes

If you want to remove a footnote or an endnote, delete the reference number or mark in the body of the text, not the footnote or endnote reference text at the end of the page, section, or document. If you remove the reference text, the reference number or mark remains in your document. When you remove the reference number or mark, the note is removed completely and the remaining reference numbers or marks are updated accordingly.

  1. After opening a document that has footnotes or endnotes, press Alt+S to open the References tab.

  2. To select footnotes or endnotes, press O, and use the Up and Down arrow keys to browse through the options. Narrator announces the keys for the items as you move.

  3. To select a footnote or an endnote, press the corresponding key, such as N for Next Footnote. The cursor is now placed in front of the footnote or endnote reference mark in the body text.

  4. To remove the reference, press Delete twice (Narrator announces: “Delete”).

    In JAWS, press Delete (JAWS announces: “Selected blank space”), then press Delete again. The footnote or endnote is now removed.

See also

Use a screen reader to insert and change text in Word

Keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Word on Windows

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Word

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Learn how to navigate Word using accessible features

Technical support for customers with disabilites

Microsoft wants to provide the best possible experience for all our customers. If you have a disability or questions related to accessibility, please contact the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk for technical assistance. The Disability Answer Desk support team is trained in using many popular assistive technologies and can offer assistance in English, Spanish, French, and American Sign Language. Please go to the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk site to find out the contact details for your region.

If you are a government, commercial, or enterprise user, please contact the enterprise Disability Answer Desk.

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