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Q&A: Can I make a list of in-text citations without a macro?

QIs there a way to make a list of all in-text citations without using a macro?

AYes, with a wildcard search!

Great question. Many editing checks could be done with such a list, and creating one is easy:

Windows users will see a button labelled MORE instead of the down arrow button at the red arrow seen above.
  1. Open Advanced Find and Replace
  2. Expand the dialog then select Wildcards (red arrow on the picture at right)
  3. In the Find field, type \(*\)
  4. Select the Highlight all items found in: option (green arrow on the picture at right)
  5. Click Find All
  6. Close that F&R window and return to the document but don’t click anywhere!
  7. Press the keyboard shortcut for copy (crtl or cmd, plus C)
  8. Open a new document and paste the content in it
a map "locator pin" styled as the MS Word logo
Find out more about using wildcards in Advanced Find and Replace in section 10 of the book, and look in section 20 for more on using the Sort tool.

That will give you a list of everything between brackets in the source document. You may have to delete some parenthetical asides (such as things starting with i.e. or e.g.), but the rest should be citations. See the uses below!

Uses of this citations list

  • Click the AZ button on the Home ribbon to sort it alphabetically. Then you can skim the list for inconsistent spellings or other errors.
  • Compare it to the list of references to ensure each one is there.

What other uses can you think of? Drop us a line or share your ideas on social media. You can tag us everywhere as @SciEditor.

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© This blog and all materials in it are copyright Adrienne Montgomerie on the date of publication. All rights reserved. No portion may be stored or distributed without express written permission. Asking is easy!

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