I would like to ask how to change the format of references in the main text. The journal asks the authors to use box brackets in the main text but round brackets in the reference section. Such as:

Main text

Low impact development (LID) systems have gained popularity. [2]


(2) Hunt et al. Low impact development practices. American Society of Civil Engineers, 2010.

I use cross-reference and the bracket format in the main text link to the bracket format in the reference. How could I change the round brackets in the main text to box brackets.


  • @Appleoddity If the question asker is using Word's citations and bibliography that's not possible. TaoHuang: you need to find out if the journal is using any of the standard styles (MLA, Chicago, APA) and let us know in the question. If it's a standard referency style the answer is different than when it's a custom style. – Saaru Lindestøkke Dec 9 '18 at 16:38
  • @SaaruLindestøkke Thank you. It's a custom style. – Tao Huang Dec 11 '18 at 0:07

Available styles

First you should double check if the journal is really not using any of the available styles:

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This would save you a lot of hassle.

BibWord styles

If Word really does not have the right style, the next step would be to check the BibWord styles. These are custom citation style files that can be used in Word. The .xls files can be placed in the correct directory after which Word needs to be restarted. The styles should show up in the style drop down shown above.

Roll your own

You can edit the existing citation styles (APA, MLA, etc...) to fit your needs. This website outlines how to do this. This page has the official Microsoft documentation.

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