Scrivener footnotes exported to Word


I’m using Scrivener to work on drafts of academic papers, and as such I frequently use the footnote feature. One problem I’ve been encountering is how to update the footnotes after exporting the file to Word. At first everything seems fine - my scrivener footnotes appear numbered in Word. However, if I try to add footnotes in Word it becomes clear that Word doesn’t recognize the auto-numberic Scrivener gave the footnotes and begins counting from 1. Since I have hundreds of footnotes it’d be infeasible to change it all manually.

Any advice would be welcome!

I’m having the exact same trouble. I need to get my manuscript to the editor within the week and could really use tips from the experts here.

Has there been any progress made on this post? I am having the same problem!

Have either of you tried compiling to RTF and opening that in Word? Another thought: I’m not at my computer at the moment, but in the Compile options somewhere, there is one that says something thing about footnotes and Word; have a look at that and try clicking it on or off, whichever the case may be.

HTH :slight_smile:


Yes, we are compiling to RTF and opening that in Word. The footnotes work like a champ–at first. The dilemma is when we add additional references in the Scrivener the file and re-compile and add the affected text to Word. The numbers in the text and at the end, where the reference text appears, get messed up. You get duplicate numbers or out of sequence numbers, so you don’t know what reference goes to what.

Cleaning it up in Word is going to be a real chore, and I’m not even sure how to do that. It would have to be a totally manual (and tedious) process, and end up even more tedious than doing it manually in the first place.

The compile settings don’t seem to have an option that would fix this. I think the problem is in the “communication” between Scrivener and Word. Surely, many Scrivener users have experienced this and it seems certain there’s a work around or solution somewhere in this community. Calling all gurus! Little help?!

I’m having this same problem and can’t find any answers! I wrote my thesis in Scrivener and obviously have some edits including the addition of footnotes. Now my footnotes are all messed up. I have no idea what to do.

Bump. Any success in adding footnotes in a Word document that already has footnotes? Hoping this has been resolved since the last reply.

I’m also having trouble with this, using Word 2016 on a PC. If I’ve identified the problem correctly, the issue is that Scrivener compiles what become in Word only fixed aka static references in Word rather than dynamic references, This is why inserting a new footnote into a recently compiled document in Word doesn’t enter the numbering sequence of the preexisting footnotes.

There’s a VBA macro posted online (search on “Greg Maxey convert fixed notes to dynamic”) that seems like it’s supposed to resolve this issue, but I haven’t gotten it to work.

The alternative is reinserting each footnote manually in Word, which is a real chore.

Any suggestions?

I was the one who posed the original question way back when and see that several others are now in the boat with me.
As an update for those sailing these seas with me, with no way of resolving the issue, I ended up doing a manual workaround instead,

As we’ve all indicated, dealing with it manually is a real chore. But I was able to minimize the chore by dealing with endnotes chapter-by-chapter, As I compiled each revised chapter, the numbers started over at 1. That made the Word doc okay, too, for 2 reasons:

  1. It was easier to ensure the right number went to the right endnote (8 in a chapter is much easier than 80 in the entire manuscript).

  2. I organized the endnotes by chapter at the end of the manuscript, with chapter titles as headings, followed by the references.

Turns out, I like the chapter-by-chapter organization better anyway. I feel it’ll be easier for the readers.

I am fortunate that I had the flexibility to do that…some of you with more strict style rules of academia may not be in that position. For you, I hope that the macro solution listed in the previous post works or that a Scrivener resolution appears.

Good luck everyone!

Has anyone found a solution to this?

This makes me want to stop using scrivener.

Have you tried opening a support ticket?


Managed to find a macro to solve this: … te-in-word

fc’s solution worked. The details of how to create the macro are here: … te-in-word
It’s very simple.

Another historian here. I used this macro on another computer a few months ago and it worked perfectly. Now I’ve moved and am on my laptop, and I keep getting an error. It says
run-time error ‘4605’ This method or property is not available because no text is selected."
Any thoughts about how to proceed?
thank you
cecilia (historian)

To deal with the problem, I switched to a different method that does not require using the macro.
Basically, I compile to .rtf first, then I open the .rtf file in word and save it as a .docx file

Don’t know if my problem is the same as the original posters, however after searching and unable to figure out a solution from the above methods. I have added my problems and solution if anyone else comes across this problem.

I compiled my completed dissertation from Scrivener to word, but once I changed all my footnotes to endnotes. I realised that when changing existing or inserting new endnotes the word document wasn’t able to distinguish the difference and would restart at 1 and would not alter the existing successive number order.

I way around this I found without having to use a macro, which didn’t entirely work for me and only changed half the document.

I instead exported my dissertation chapter on Scrivener into a file and then opened the exported file and copied and pasted the entire text into my original word document and over the previous chapter, which fixed the problem with the endnotes and they are now dynamic.

Although it’s not the fastest solution, it beats manually adding each reference which would be a nightmare.

Hopefully, this helps anyone that is also having this problem.

1 Like

For those who are also searching in a panic trying to resolve hundreds of footnotes, the macro posted above worked flawlessly for me. Absolute lifesaver! I was dreading having to cut and paste over 300 footnotes manually. Thank you for saving me days of manual cut and paste.

I encountered this too - it happens as i have some placeholder footnotes, with no text, so it cannot copy anything.

Here the fixed macro:

Sub fix_footnotes()
' fix_footnotes Macro
' footnotes

Dim myFootnote As Footnote
Dim footnote_text
Dim i
For i = ActiveDocument.Footnotes.Count To 1 Step -1
    Set myFootnote = ActiveDocument.Footnotes(i)
    footnote_text = myFootnote.Range.Text
    If Not footnote_text = "" Then
    End If
    ActiveDocument.Footnotes.Add Selection.Range
    If Not footnote_text = "" Then
    End If
Next i

End Sub