Microsoft Word Logo

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

By saving the edited structure or font formatting, you can easily add that same bibliography to all of your Word documents and just swap out the details as needed.

Create a Customize Bibliography in Word

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

RELATED: How To Automatically Add Citations And Bibliographies To Microsoft Word

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

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

Built-in bibliographies in Word

You’ll see your chosen style appear in your document.

Inserted bibliography

From there, make any edits you like 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 finish creating and customizing your bibliography, you’ll save it as a template.

RELATED: How to Create a Template in Microsoft Word

Drag through the text of the bibliography to select it all. Then, head back to the References tab and click the Bibliography drop-down arrow. Pick “Save Selection to Bibliography Gallery” at the bottom of the menu.

Save to the gallery option

Tip: If the option is unavailable, make sure you’ve selected all of the text in the bibliography.

You’ll see a pop-up window where you can enter the name you want to use for the template. Optionally include a description and pick 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’ll receive a pop-up message telling you that you made changes to Building Blocks. Choose “Save.”

Save Building Blocks prompt in Word

Note: If you’ve made changes to other Building Blocks that you don’t want to save, pick “Don’t 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. Then, go to the References tab and click the Bibliography drop-down arrow. You’ll see your saved template appear in the list.

Saved template in the Bibliography drop-down menu

Simply select it and it’ll display in your document.

Note: If you use a theme in your Word document (Design > Themes), some formatting like font style may change.

Remove a Bibliography Template

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

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

Organize and Delete in the menu

When the Building Blocks Organizer opens, you should see your template already selected. Confirm and then click “Delete” to permanently remove it from the gallery.

You can also make edits to the name or description from the Building Blocks Organizer. Select your template and choose “Edit Properties.” Click “OK” when you finish.

Building Blocks Organizer

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

For more, take a look at how to cross-reference in Word or how to use footnotes and endnotes.

Profile Photo for Sandy Writtenhouse Sandy Writtenhouse
With her B.S. in Information Technology, Sandy worked for many years in the IT industry as a Project Manager, Department Manager, and PMO Lead. She learned how technology can enrich both professional and personal lives by using the right tools. And, she has shared those suggestions and how-tos on many websites over time. With thousands of articles under her belt, Sandy strives to help others use technology to their advantage.
Read Full Bio »