Computer Science

Configuring Automatic IEEE Referencing in Microsoft Word (Windows and OS X)

Like many people here, I have found one of the frustrating parts of academic writing is the referencing. Unless you did an Extended Project Qualification it’s unlikely that you’ll have had to use referencing before you came to University, and are probably thinking it’s a very time consuming thing to do.

Luckily there are some really smart tools designed to do the hard work for you. Microsoft Office Word is great at making referencing within your work hassle free. It’s features include the ability to hold a library of resources you have used, allowing you to easily insert a reference to such resources with just a double click. It can also automatically create bibliographies and supports position-referenced numbered footnotes that automatically adjust themselves. Unfortunately however, by default it does not support the IEEE standard required for our course. After spending some time researching how to set this up, I thought it made sense to write a post explaining the process, so that more people can do the same and make use of the tools. Installation is, easy – follow the steps below:

  1. Download and extract this file [1] then:
    • On Windows, navigate to ‘C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office 12\Bibliography\Style’ and paste the file you just extracted here. (Note, in above path amend ‘Office 12’ for your version.)
    • On OS X, navigate to ‘/Applications/Microsoft Office 2011/Microsoft’ and paste the file you just extracted here. (Note, in above path amend ‘Microsoft Office 2011’ for your version.)
  2. Now open Word then:
    • On Windows, go to the ‘References’ tab. In the ‘Citations and Bibliography’ section and change the ‘Style’ to ‘IEEE – Reference Order’.
    • On OS X, go to the ‘Document Elements’ tab. In the ‘References’ section select ‘IEEE – Reference Order’.

Rather than duplicate many other tutorials online that teach you how to use these great features, I’d encourage you to look at the instructions linked to here and a video tutorial here.

Once the IEEE referencing style has been installed, for each reference all you need to do is enter source material when asked (and it only asks for that which is relevant to the source format – see below). From there, the reference and bibliography are generated automatically and Word will keep track of your references for later use.

Reference Input for Office Word
Reference Input for Office Word



Yves Dhondt. (2010, January) BibWord : Microsoft Word Citation and Bibliography Styles. [Online].

P.S. – Want to offset your Carbon Footprint? Check out