How to Select and Use Citation Management Tools: Citation tools in Microsoft Word

This guide contains information on different tools that will make citing sources in your papers easier.

Citation Tools Housed in Microsoft Word

Using the citation tools in Microsoft Word

The citation tools in Word 2016 for PC are under the References* tab.

Location of Reference tab in Word.

1. Begin by setting the citation style -- use the drop-down box labeled Style:

Creating a Source

2. Next, click Manage Sources and in the Source Manager box, click New...

A view of the Create Source box.

4. In the Create Source box, first select the type of source. This will impact which fields are displayed below. Required fields will display with red asterisks to the left of the field. Note, however, that while some citation styles (such as APA 6th) require volume and issue number for journal articles, these do not appear in the default view of the Create Source box. Click on Show All Bibliography Fields to open these additional fields.

5. Next, fill out the fields as they should appear in your bibliography. Watch the bottom of the screen for formatting examples for each field.

6. When finished, click OK.You will be returned to the Source List box.

Making references available for citation

a screenshot of the source manager box showing the master list, current list and copy buttons

7. The Source Manager box will now show both a Master List of sources and a Current List. The current list pertains to the current document, and is the list that will be accessed by Word when you go to add citations to your document. Meanwhile the master list holds all the sources you have created previously using this process. Word will only include citations in the Current List for citation use in this document. You can add a source from the Master List to the Current List simply by clicking on it in the master list and then clicking Copy -> from the options in the middle. When you are finished, click Close.

Creating an in-text citation

8. To insert a citation from your Current List, place the cursor where you would like the citation to appear.

9. Next, click References then Insert Citation and click on the citation you would like to use from the drop-down list. (If your citation does not appear in the drop-down list, return to step 7, above.)

a view of the insert citation icon

10. Your in-text citation will be added.

intext citation added

Inserting the Bibliography

11. When you are finished writing your paper and ready to insert the bibliography, place the cursor at the end of the paper, where you would like the bibliography to begin.

12. From the Bibliography drop-down in the References tab, select the bibliography with the heading you need (Works Cited is generally used for MLA style and References is generally used for APA.)

an image of the bibliography

13. You can highlight "References" and change the font color to black or highlight the text of the bibliography to manipulate the font type, size or spacing.


*Please note - these instructions, created using Microsoft Word 2016 for PC, may vary slightly among computer platforms and different versions of Microsoft Word.