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Microsoft Word: Multiple bibliographies in one document

Microsoft Word Multiple bibliographies Cover image

Microsoft Word comes with comprehensive source management. A bibliography can be created from existing sources of different types. It is often necessary to create separate bibliographies for each type of source. With a little trick using the locale ID, it is possible to achieve this. For example, literature and image sources can be entered together in the Source Manager, but output and displayed in two different bibliographies.



Microsoft Word comes with extensive source management. A bibliography can be generated from the sources entered in the Source Manager - and even in different citation styles. Unfortunately, it is not directly possible to generate several bibliographies with different contents. However, this can sometimes be practical - even necessary - in order to meet the requirements of academic papers. For example, it may be necessary to create a bibliography and a list of illustrations. Where most students enter the image sources by hand in such a case, we cheat a little and save ourselves a lot of work. This article shows how to do it right and still do it.


When creating a new source (References → Manage sources → New), you have the option of assigning a specific language to each source:

Microsoft Word Multiple bibliographies 1
Selecting the language of a source in the Microsoft Word Source Manager

The source is displayed later in the bibliography according to the selected language; for example, dates can be formatted differently depending on the country (MM/DD/YYYYY vs. DD.MM.YYYY). A normal (unmodified) bibliography shows the sources entered for each language.

However, with a simple trick it is possible to Display bibliography for a specific language only to leave. In addition, we as Germans can count ourselves lucky, because our neighbors to the east, south and west speak the same language (in the bibliography).

The Trick is as follows: We first add a new language under Windows - for example "German (Austria)" - and then change the language for some sources to this language. The bibliography can be modified with a setting so that it only shows sources in one language. Accordingly, we can now assign the literature sources to the language "German (Germany)" and the image sources to the language "German (Austria)" and display the directories separately.

Solution and instructions

Add input locale

First, an input locale, i.e. a new language, must be added to Microsoft Windows. Let's stick with "German (Austria)" as an example. The process differs between Windows 10 and the previous Windows versions.

Add input locale in Windows 7, 8 and 8.1

Another input locale can be added in the classic control panel. Click on Region and language opens a new window. There you will find the tab Keyboards and language. Here you have the possibility Change keyboards. Another window opens in which you can click on the Add a new language can be added. The list contains German (Austria) again. The item can be opened by clicking on the plus sign. Under Keyboard can now use the language German must be ticked. All three windows must be marked with OK be confirmed.

Adding an input locale in Windows 10

In the settings there is the item Time and language. There you will find the sub-item Region and language. With the button Add language can now German (Austria) can be added.

Restarting Microsoft Word

If Microsoft Word is still open, you must now all instances of Microsoft Word closed can be opened. Microsoft Word can then be opened again. It should now be possible to assign the language "German (Austria)" to either a new or existing source.

Correct saving of sources

If you have already entered some sources, differentiate between literary and visual sources and assign the correct language to each source. This is a bit of work, but is worth it at the end of the day. If necessary, confirm the question as to whether Word should also transfer the source to the "Master list" or the "Current list".

If you have not yet entered any sources, please do so at this point: You can now save the literature sources either under "German (Germany)" or "German (Austria)", and the image sources in the other language. After all, we want to see the effect right away.

In my example, I have used the Literature sources saved under "German (Germany)":

Microsoft Word Multiple bibliographies 2
Saving a reference source in the Microsoft Word Source Manager

The Image sources are saved under "German (Austria)": - in this case it is a link that refers to an image.

Microsoft Word Multiple bibliographies 3
Saving an image source in the Microsoft Word Source Manager

Inserting a list of illustrations and references

Under the tab References (ex. References) there is now the option to create a Insert bibliography. Please do this twice in the correct places in your document, as we need both a bibliography and a list of figures at the end.

At this point, both directories should contain exactly the same content.

Now right-click on the future bibliography and select the option Edit field from. There you will find some Setting options including influencing parameters for the function that is to display the bibliography. This looks as follows, for example:


This entry states that the Displayed language of the bibliography German (Germany) is. This is determined by the parameter \l for language and the corresponding and unique identification number of the language. The much more exciting parameter in our case is \f for filterto filter the bibliography to be displayed according to our specific language only. Microsoft has published an article on the field functions with notes for more detailed information.

In order to Bibliography with literature sources now be presented in German and only those in German (Germany) saved entries, the following combination of parameters must be selected:

BIBLIOGRAPHY \l 1031 \f 1031

At the Bibliography with image sources we make a similar change, namely we have to replace the line with the following:

BIBLIOGRAPHY \l 1031 \f 3079

Now you should see two directories, each with different content and differentiate between literature and image sources:

Microsoft Word Multiple bibliographies 4
Inserting several bibliographies with different contents in a Microsoft Word document

You can update your entire directories - This also includes the table of contents - incidentally with the F9if these are marked. With CTRL + A you can select all content (except for the header and footer) of the document.

Questions & Answers

Which languages can I choose for a German bibliography?

1031 for German (Germany)
3079 for German (Austria)
5127 for German (Liechtenstein)
4103 for German (Luxembourg)
2055 for German (Switzerland)

I have no option to assign a language to a source.

Make sure that you have added the input locale. Restart Word so that it recognizes the changes.

How can I insert two bibliographies in Word?

You can use two bibliographies with different content by entering the sources for the bibliographies in different languages (configuration in the Source Manager). The bibliography can then be filtered by language (field settings).

5 responses to "Microsoft Word: Multiple bibliographies in one document”

  1. Mario Weber Avatar
    Mario Weber

    Super tip

    I had exactly the same problem and also knew that you can solve it with different country language settings.
    However, multiple languages are only displayed in Word when creating sources if you also have multiple languages installed 😉
    I stumbled across it. I thought the feature was only no longer available in Word from Office365. ...
    Thanks again for the tip, now it works great!

    1. Lennart Wörmer Avatar

      Hey Mario,

      I'm pleased to hear that it's now working. In principle, Office 365 customers only receive the regular Office programs (e.g. Word 2016), which are, however, continuously updated. It can therefore generally be assumed that the versions obtained via Office 365 have the same or higher-quality functionality.

  2. Christina Avatar

    Oh my God - THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! I'm already at the end of my studies and have often laboriously adapted countless scientific papers - but at least now I'm spared this for my thesis (with around 120 pages of pure text, this would have been an eternal pain! Word is really not helpful in support... for me - as a humanities scholar - everything is difficult to understand and there are no suggestions for solutions for specific settings anyway (e.g. the brackets for the short quotation in the footer - thanks here too)! Please keep up the good work! Lg from Austria Christina

    1. Lennart Wörmer Avatar

      I'm very pleased that I was able to help you with this article 🙂
      If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

  3. Christina Avatar

    Hello Lennard,
    I'm once again facing two problems, it would be great if you could help me again:

    1. i would like to include the EDITION in the source. But when I enter it in the "Edition" field, the following appears: Ausg.

    This is how it happens:
    Reckwitz, A. (2017). The invention of creativity. On the process of social aestheticization (3rd ed.). Berlin: Suhrkamp.

    That's how it should be:
    Reckwitz, A. (2017). The invention of creativity. On the process of social aestheticization (3rd ed.). Berlin: Suhrkamp.

    AND that would be even better:
    Reckwitz, A. (2017). The invention of creativity. On the process of social aestheticization. 3rd ed. First published in 2012. Berlin: Suhrkamp.

    Or is there another field that can be used so that it is in this position? It does not necessarily have to be placed in brackets.

    2. if several authors are cited, is there a setting here that says "et.al." in the short citation? Ex:

    This is how it happens:
    Gaubinger & Bischofer, 2017

    That's how it should be:
    Gaubinger et.al, 2017

    Would be invaluable again if you could help!
    Best regards

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