I have Office 365 and in Microsoft Word which is updated to the latest edition. I could manually enter inline citations, but for speed and ease of citing, I have elected to use the automatic citation generator.

I need to cite in the APA 7th edition style. However, I have noticed that when using the automatic citation generator, the correct APA citation is not provided in a couple of situations; and maybe more issues may come to light as I move forward.

One situation is that when, let's say you have a citation with say 4 authors, the inline citation will mention all 4 authors followed by the year, when it should mention the first author surname followed by et al.

For example, Word will cite

(Okami, Olmstead, Abramson, & Pendleton, 1998)

when it should be

(Okami et al., 1998)

There is also a known bug where if you have multiple citations from the same author, the citation generator fills in the publication title when it's not supposed to.

The Microsoft website provides a workaround for the meantime on the incorrect addition of the publication title, but has not been very helpful in dealing with other issues.

It says on the link above

Important: APA and MLA can change their formats, so you’ll want to ensure that these format versions meet your requirements. You can create your own updated version of a style or build custom styles. For more information see Bibliography & Citations 102 – Building Custom styles.

but the link is dead.

Is there a more reliable style I can download and use in Word? If not, how can I edit the current APA style to correct the issues or create a custom version?

  • I voted to close because questions about bugs in software are not questions about academia. – Anonymous Physicist Mar 17 at 9:58

Instructions on building your own custom citation style can be found at this Microsoft webpage. This instruction can be used to learn how to modify the current style, or use it as a template for a separate corrected style.

In the meantime, whilst working on the style, I found a workaround for the et al. inline citations in SuperUser. You may manually edit incorrect inline citations by editing the field. Doing this is still quicker than manually typing all citations and references as it only affects a few inline citations.

For example, with the inline citation used in the question

(Okami, Olmstead, Abramson, & Pendleton, 1998)

right click on the citation and select the "Edit Field" option.

The citation field for this example was:

CITATION Oka98 \l 2057

If you edit it to this:

CITATION Oka98 \n \t \l 2057 \f "Okami et al., "

It becomes:

(Okami et al., 1998)

The following explains the switches used.

\n removes the author names

\t removes the title (to prevent it being displayed with the other bug)

\l is for the locale code

\f is for a prefix which in this case replaces the author names.

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  • I do understand that the question pertains to APA 6th edition. However, anyone viewing this thread may want to take note of a change in the recently released 7th edition: Any citations with three or more authors are now cited as "et al." beginning with the first citation. (Hallelujah!) – RJo Mar 17 at 2:47
  • @RJo - You pointed out an error in my question. I was actually referring to 7th edition. – Chris Rogers Mar 17 at 7:09

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