IEEE Referencing for Word 2007 + 2010

Not a lot of people know how to do proper IEEE referencing in Word 2007 or 2010. The benefits of doing this are immense both for individuals and teams. It allows automatic renumbering of references, automatic bibliography creation, as well as providing a collection of your references in one file – even when multiple people work on the same document. This also works on OS X, you just need to find the corresponding folders. Sounds appealing? Right, let’s get started.

IEEE Reference Style

First thing’s first, download the above file. It’s hosted on my server, but the original is created by Yves at Codeplex. You can check that out as well.

Next, you’re going to want to copy the file to:

C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office 12\Bibliography\Style

Depending on your installation it may be in a different location (i.e. 64-bit installation) but I’m sure you can figure this out.

Start up Microsoft Word (or restart it if it was open). Now browse to the References tab on the ribbon. Under the Citations & Bibliography section (highlighted below), click Style and a new item should have appeared, choose IEEE.

IEEE Style in Word 2007

With this selected we need to start by entering our first reference. So click Manage Sources. You should be presented with this dialog box. I filled it in with some information from a journal article but you could just as easily use a website, book, magazine, etc.

Creating a source for the first time

After you’re done, this reference will show up in your list of sources. As you can see I have many others (all related to this one word document). My methodology is to add to this list of sources as I go, rather than all at once at the end of a report. It proves much simpler in the end.

List of all sources available in this document

Now, when I want to use one of these sources all I have to do is click Insert Citation (from the Citations & Bibliography section), and choose the citation I want. You should see a number appear encased in square brackets, [1]. That’s your first IEEE reference. You can repeat this as many times as you want with the same reference or new ones. When you’re done you’re going to want to create a list of references. Scroll down to the bottom of your document and click Bibliography and then choose either one, it doesn’t matter. I usually remove the words “Bibliography” and replace it with something less Artsy, like “References” (sorry Arts students but you had tons of reference styles to choose from off the bat, so you’re lucky!).

Create a bibliography from your list of used sources

Voilà you should be very happy with your new IEEE style referencing in Word.

I’d like to mention, but won’t go into detail, that with the software, Mendeley (my chosen research tool), you can get a word plugin that will do all of this as well. It’s not as tight, but at least you don’t have to enter in all your references details if it gets it from the citation. But that’s not for this post anyways – I will write something up on Mendeley and Word integration later.

Updated for OS X

In order to get this working on your version of Microsoft Office 2011 on Mac OS X, the folder location specified above needs to be:

/applications/Microsoft Office 2011

Here are some detailed steps from a random old forum I found online:

  • Unzip the file that you downloaded
  • Close Word if it’s open
  • Open Applications
  • Navigate into the Microsoft Office folder
  • Right click on the file or just Word if you have the file extensions hidden, click ‘Show Package Contents’
  • There should now be a folder called Contents, open the folder.
  • Then open Resources
  • Then open Styles
  • Copy the .xml style you want into this folder
  • Launch the Word application and the styles you copied in should be available.

Happy referencing!

  • Jordan Lui

    Admin: Please delete this post. Thx

  • Jordan Lui

    The sorting of entries in the bibliography will be dictated by either alphabetical order or order of appearance. When you generate the bibliography at the bottom of the document, the references will be properly numerated in 1, 2, 3 order.

    See… for the alphabetical IEEE Reference Standard.

    You should not manually re-order your citations because they are meant to be ordered in one of two ways. That is the idea of the IEEE Reference Standard. If you really want to, you could modify the bibliography table that is auto-created but your manual changes are overwritten each time the document is refreshed because the bibliography table repopulates.

  • Jordan Lui

    Works fine for me. Want to specify more information if you’re still having this problem? What steps are you taking to add sources and generate the bibliography table?

  • Faa13

    very helpful and easy to manage. Will report any bug in case I found one but hope I don’t encounter one

  • Andrewarsenal2020

    Thank you bro! It was very helpful!

  • randil49

    thanks a lot. this made my thesis writing very easy.

  • Qmthiyane

    thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! #iv been getting bad marks for assigments due to bad referencing !!

  • Renuavinaash

    hey it was informative and made things quiet easy

  • Guest

    My word already has IEEE 2006 installed by default?.

  • Jared

    this is awesome thanks alot really helped and instructions were easy to follow! cheers

  • Mhhh

    thanks a lot. it was useful and complete

  • Denduje

    just wat I was looking for! thanks a lot!

  • Raghbendra

    Thanks, i was looking for this feature and got it 🙂

  • Handaya

    Thanks, it did help a lot! 🙂

  • Manish

    Wow, very helpful thanks!!

  • Lat

    If I have a more papers talking about the same, how to cite multiple like [1]-[4]? If I update the bibliography it automatically changes to [1]-[2] and changes the position of the [4] reference in the Bibliography to [2].

  • mikemurko

    I think IEEE referencing style requires you do something like this at the end of a sentence before ending punctuation [1][2][3][4]. Double check, but basically you just insert citations sequentially where you need them.

  • Kirill Salita

    This is very helpful, thank you so much! I only have one problem with it: when i cite a document from web page it doesn’t display the date the document was accessed in the bibliography. And for my work it is required. Can this be changed?

  • mikemurko

    I think it does allow a date of publication … but probably not date of access. I don’t think date of access is part of the IEEE reference spec. Don’t quote me on that. If you need to do some custom citation to appease a prof, then I would use this method until the end – then copy and paste the text into a new bibliography and fill in your date of access for each web reference.

  • Achim

    Hi, I use this reference style too and it is really great. Thanks!

    My problem is now, that i am not able to put more than 10 references into 1 “Reference brace”. Than this looks like [1, 6, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 16, 23] and [24].

    Now I have two questions:
    Is there a possibility that the programm will make a reference like [1, 6, 16 – 24]? Here it is important to know, that the references 16-24 are referenced the first time in this thesis. Thus I can not just put the two references into the brace because it would than look like this: [1, 6, 16 -17]
    Secod one: Is there a possibility that it sorts the references in the brace in numerical order automaticaly too? Like [1,6, 16, 17,18,19,20,21,22,23] insteed of [1, 6, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 16, 23]

  • Rika

    What happens if I try to join 2 documents together by copy and paste or something similar? Can I keep the references of both?

  • D.

    <3 U

  • Rika

    The references appear as underlined, i.e. the 2 in [2] is underlines etc. I can remove the underline but as soon as the field is updated it’s there again. Any way to change this?

  • edu

    woow this is what i’ve been looking for! thanks alot alot alottt! ::D

  • bvfcv

    thank you

  • Babar Hussain

    One advantage of using IEEE for referencing point of view ,over End-note ,I find ,is its simplicity in use and no objection of Internet for referencing as it happens in case of End-note.

  • civil00251

    Has anyone had a problem where in the biography the numbers are disjointed? In my doc double digit numbers are spread over two lines and I can’t work out how to alter it

  • Nick

    I like this IEEE referencing. But I run into a problem the other day. I lost about half the entries I had put in when I opened the word file 4 weeks after I had finished it. Also, all the associations (“current list” of sources in the MSWORD source manager) were lost as well. Any idea what I could have done, during my usage of MSword without using the IEEE referencing for 4 weeks, that could have caused the problem above?

  • Nick

    if you simply widen the width of the “numbers” column in the table, the 2 and 3-digit numbers will show in one line.

  • LuBe

    But if you then re-generate/update the table, it will again have a too small first column.
    The solution must be to adapt the stylesheet; first step: replace ‘%1’ by e.g. ‘5%’ everywhere in the stylesheet, which then sets the “preferred width” property of the first column of the generated table accordingly;
    the problem is that the property “allow automatic change of size” (not sure if this is the correct wording in the English Word, I have only the German one) has to be set for the table, and I did not find out what has to be put into the stylesheet to set that.
    In the final XML-file “document.xml” in the .docx-file-archive an entry “” is needed;
    does anybody know how this can be acieved?

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  • asif

    Thanks Dear,
    It was really useful for me, because i didn’t have IEEE format in My word 2007.

  • yener

    Hi, it is very useful but it has some important deficiencies. The following question is about exactly what I mean. Is there anyone who help about this.

    “Is there a possibility that the programm will make a reference like [1,
    6, 16 – 24]? Here it is important to know, that the references 16-24 are
    referenced the first time in this thesis. Thus I can not just put the
    two references into the brace because it would than look like this: [1,
    6, 16 -17]
    Secod one: Is there a possibility that it sorts the
    references in the brace in numerical order automaticaly too? Like [1,6,
    16, 17,18,19,20,21,22,23] insteed of [1, 6, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22,
    16, 23]”

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  • Moi-meme

    Thank you so much! This is a whole pack of help and it worked! Great Job!

  • pikzel

    Wow, thank you! I actually never thought it was a borderless table, I have been trying for a good two hours to solve this problem and finally found this blog and your simple answer. Great 🙂

  • Shams Ul Huda

    Thanks dear you solved my problem.
    Best regards

  • alicia beltran

    Hi, Bro thaks for Help that was ver useful specially for Mac.

    its the path:

    Applications/Microsoft Office 2011/Microsoft

  • Paul Ekwere

    Thanks so much for posting this Nick! It was totally driving me bonkers just now on my MSc thesis!

  • supriya Chakraborty

    how could latter change the position of entries in already created bibliography that also change in the citation entry? I have extremely difficulties for the above.

  • Pranav Patel

    there is no bibliography folder in the path mentioned above. what should i do. i created a folder bibliography myself n copied styles. but still no use.. kindly help. a bit urgent

  • twinclouds

    Thanks for this useful guide. I am new in using this Word’s feature. I can insert new citation reference to it. However, when I create the reference list, the number shows on the second line rather than the first one. Can you tell me how to fix this? Thanks.

  • twinclouds

    I have a similar problem. I can fix this manually by edit the table lay out. Do you know how to fix it in the XML file? Thanks.

  • M.

    This is extremely helpful! Thank you so much for the style sheet!

  • Dasni

    Thank You. This was very helpful.

  • Stefan Herzog

    This is a very useful style sheet! Thank you! But I have one question: Where can I format the inserted (running) number “[x]”? In this style sheet it is formatted as bold “[boldNumber]”, but I’d like to have it normal.
    Could you please help here? Thank you!

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    I love you man , this page saves lifes lol

  • Albert

    Did u find some answer to that? I have the same problem 🙁

  • Amir sharif

    Although page numbers are provieded while adding the source but in bibliography the page numbers are not showing for conference papers in IEEE 2006 style. Plz help.