How to Create Your Own Bibliography Template in Microsoft Word

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When you take advantage of Word’s built-in bibliography, you may still need to modify it, either for a requirement or a personal preference. If you want to save this bibliography format and reuse it in future documents, create a template.

By saving the changed structure or font formatting, you can easily add the same bibliography to all your Word documents and simply interchange the details as needed.

Create a Custom Bibliography in Word

You can certainly create a bibliography yourself, but if you have citations in your document, Word can create it for you.

RELATED: How to Automatically Add Citations and Bibliographies to Microsoft Word

Go to the References tab and the Citations and Bibliography section of the ribbon. You can use the type of bibliography below or one you create from scratch for your template.

  • To create a titled bibliography, select the Bibliography drop-down arrow and choose the style you want to use from Bibliography, References, or Works Cited.
  • For an untitled bibliography, select “Insert Bibliography” instead.

Built-in bibliographies in Word

You will see the style you chose appear in your document.

Bibliography inserted

From there, make any changes you want to the text, font, and layout. You can change the font size, style, or color, add more line spacing, or apply text effects.

Customize an inserted bibliography

Save a bibliography as a template

When you’re done creating and customizing your bibliography, you’ll save it as a template.

RELATED: How to Create a Template in Microsoft Word

Drag the bibliography text to select all. Then go back to the References tab and click on the Bibliography drop-down arrow. Choose “Save Selection to Bibliography Gallery” at the bottom of the menu.

Save to gallery option

Point: If the option is not available, make sure you have selected all the text in the bibliography.

You will see a pop-up window where you can enter the name you want to use for the template. Optionally include a description and choose a category. Leave the Gallery option set to “Bibliographies” and the Save In option set to “Building Blocks”. Click OK.”

Building block creation window

To reuse the bibliography template in future documents, close your current document, saving it first if necessary.

You will receive a pop-up message informing you that you have made changes to the Building Blocks. Choose “Save”.

Save Building Blocks Prompt in Word

To note: If you have made changes to other Building Blocks that you do not want to save, select “Do not save”. However, your bibliography template will not be saved or available in future Word documents.

Reuse your bibliography template

To reuse your template in another Word document, place your cursor where you want it to appear. Next, go to the References tab and click on the Bibliography drop-down arrow. You will see your saved template appear in the list.

Saved model in the Bibliography drop-down menu

Just select it and it will show up in your document.

To note: If you use a theme in your Word document (Design > Themes), some formatting such as font style may change.

Delete a bibliography template

If you no longer want to use a bibliography template you saved, you can delete it using the Building Blocks Organizer.

Return to the References tab and right-click your model in the Bibliography drop-down list. Choose “Organize and Delete” from the context menu.

Organize and delete in the menu

When the building block organizer opens, you should see your model already selected. Confirm then click “Delete” to permanently remove it from the gallery.

You can also make changes to the name or description from the building block organizer. Select your model and choose “Edit properties”. Click “OK” when finished.

building block organizer

If you want to use the bibliography feature in Word but customize it to suit your tastes or preferences, consider saving it as a template to use again and again.

To learn more, find out how to create cross-references in Word or how to use footnotes and endnotes.

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