MS-Word / General Formatting

Footnotes and Endnotes

Being able to add footnotes is one of the neatest benefits of word processors, at least if you're in college. After that, the footnote is a useless appendage, unless you happen to work at the college, in which case the footnote feature becomes a source of resentment - just one among many examples of how easy it today.

Adding a Footnote

Using footnotes is a snap, unless you want to make them look fancy. Here's the down-and-dirty procedure for adding plain-vanilla footnotes:

  1. Place the insertion point where you want the little footnote reference number to appear in your text.
  2. On the References tab in the Footnotes group, click the Insert Footnote button.
    The footnote reference is added to the text, and the footnote itself is placed at the bottom of the page.
  3. Type the footnote.

Word automatically numbers footnotes for you. Heck, that's the point. When you insert a footnote, Word adds a little footnote reference number in the text and pairs it with a number in the footnote itself. If you go back later and insert a new footnote in front of an existing one, Word automatically juggles the footnote numbers to keep everything in sync.

Here are a few tips for working with footnotes:

  • For an extra-quick way to create a footnote, use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Alt+F.
  • To create an endnote instead of a footnote, click the Insert Endnote button instead of the Insert Footnote button. Endnotes are similar to footnotes, but appear all together at the end of the document (or section, if the document has multiple sections) instead of at the bottom of each page.
  • For more control over endnotes and footnotes, open the Footnote and Endnote dialog box by clicking the dialog box launcher in the lower-right corner of the Footnotes group on the References tab.
  • If you start with endnotes but then decide that you want to convert them to footnotes (or vice versa), fear not. Just open the Footnote and Endnote dialog box and click the Convert button. The Convert Notes dialog box opens. Then click OK to convert your footnotes to endnotes. Click Close to dismiss the Footnote and Endnote dialog box.
  • To delete a footnote, select its footnote reference number in the text and press Delete.
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