Insert footnotes and endnotes

Word 365
Footnotes are short notes at the bottom of the page that provide explanations, additional comments, or an understanding of a particular word or phrase in the document content. Endnotes are the same as footnotes but appear at the end of an entire section or document.
Footnotes and endnotes in Header Word 365

Footnotes or endnotes in the document must be formatted according to the requirements accepted by your college, university, company, established on the project, etc.

The number or symbol inserted in the document content to refer to a footnote or endnote is called a reference mark. Footnotes appear on the same page as their reference marks, and endnotes appear at the end of the document or section (see more about their customization below). In most views, footnotes or endnotes are separated from the body text by a note separator line (see how to change a note separator line).

The numbering is always correct if you insert footnotes or endnotes using the Word's Footnote and Endnote functionality. Even after changes are made to the document, Word automatically moves the footnotes to the correct page and renumbers them accordingly.

Note: You can use footnotes and endnotes in the same document.


Insert a Footnote or Endnote

Word offers several useful features to insert footnotes and endnotes. You can:

Note: To reference a single footnote or endnote multiple times in the document text with the automatic numbering, you can use cross-references.


Insert the Footnote using the Insert Footnote button

To insert the Footnote with the format used by default (Word’s default format or last saved format for the footnotes in the document), do the following:

   1.   Place the cursor where you want to insert the reference to the footnote.

   2.   On the References tab, in the Footnotes group, click the Insert Footnote button:

Insert Footnote in Word 365

Word inserts the footnote at the bottom of the current page with the format used by default (superscript number of the 1, 2, 3, ... numbered list). The cursor is positioned next to the inserted footnote. E.g.:

Footnote in Word 365

   3.   Enter what you need in the footnote. You can modify text style, size, color as you want using the same features as for the regular text:

Font and Paragraph groups in Word 365

Note: See how to format footnotes and endnotes for more details.

   4.   Double-click the number or symbol at the beginning of the footnote to return to the place in the document where you inserted a reference mark.


Insert the Endnote using the Insert Endnote button

To insert the Endnote with the format used by default (Word's default format or last saved format for the endnotes in the document), do the following:

   1.   Place the cursor where you want to insert the reference to the endnote.

   2.   On the References tab, in the Footnotes group, click the Insert Endnote button:

Insert Endnote in Word 365

Word inserts the endnote at the end of the document with the format used by default (superscript number of the i, ii, iii, ... numbered list). The cursor is positioned next to the inserted endnote. E.g.:

Endnote in Word 365

   3.   Enter what you need in the endnote.

Note: See how to format footnotes and endnotes for more details.

   4.   Double-click the number or symbol at the beginning of the endnote to return to the place in the document where you inserted a reference mark.


Insert the Footnote and Endnote using shortcut keys

You can use the following keyboard shortcuts to insert footnotes and endnotes in a Microsoft Word document:

  • Press Alt+Ctrl+F to insert a footnote.
  • Press Alt+Ctrl+D to insert an endnote.

Insert the Footnote and Endnote with custom format

To insert the Footnote and Endnote in the document with the custom format, do the following:

   1.   Place the cursor where you want to insert the reference to the footnote or endnote.

   2.   On the References tab, in the Footnotes group, click the dialog box launcher:

Footnote dialog box launcher in Word 365

   3.   In the Footnote and Endnote dialog box:

Footnote and Endnote dialog box in Word 365
  • In the Location section:
    • Select Footnotes and the location:
      • Bottom of page (used by default)
      • Below text – if there is a space between text and a bottom margin on the page, it can be placed right after text. For example:
      Example of the footnote in Word 365
    • Select Endnotes and the location:
      • End of section
      • End of document (used by default)

      To insert endnotes at the end of each chapter or other parts in the document, add a section break (see how to work with breaks in Word) for each chapter or part and select the End of section option.

    • Click the Convert... button to convert all footnotes to endnotes, or vice versa (see converting footnotes and endnotes below).
  • In the Footnote layout section (available only if the Footnote is selected in the Location section), select the layout from the Columns dropdown list.

    As for the regular text, Word offers to create columns for the footnotes and endnotes.

    • Match section layout – use the same number of columns as the document text
    • 1 column
    • 2 column
    • 3 column
    • 4 column

    For example:

    • Match section layout:
      Match section layout in Footnote and Endnote dialog box Word 365
    • 1 column:
      1 column layout in Footnote and Endnote dialog box Word 365
  • In the Format section:
    • Choose the format you need from the Number format dropdown list:
      Number format in Footnote and Endnote dialog box Word 365
      • 1, 2, 3, ... (used by default for footnotes)
      • a, b, c, ...
      • A, B, C, ...
      • i, ii, iii, ... (used by default for endnotes)
      • I, II, III, ...
      • *, †, ‡, §, ...
    • Type the Custom mark or select it by clicking the Symbol... button to open the Symbol dialog box:
      Custom mark in Footnote and Endnote dialog box Word 365

      Select the symbol you need in the Symbol dialog box and click the OK button.

      In English, a footnote or endnote is usually indicated by a superscript number immediately following the text or phrase to which the note refers. For some requirements, a superscript number should be placed between parentheses, for example: [1].

      Note: We strongly recommend checking the requirements you need to follow. For example:

      • The Chicago style allows using symbols, such as the asterisk (*) or the dagger (), instead of numbers if there are a few footnotes in the document (see how to add different reference marks for more details).
      • The American Psychological Association (APA) style and Modern Language Association (MLA) style don't recommend using symbols as footnote identifiers.
    • Optionally, select the number you need to start numbering in the Start at field.

      For example, if you have several documents containing different chapters or parts of the voluminous project, you can start footnotes from a specific number in the current document.

    • From the Numbering dropdown list, select one of the options:
      • Continuous (used by default)
      • Restart each section
      • Restart each page
  • In the Apply changes section, from the Apply changes to dropdown list, select one of the options:
    • This section
    • Whole document

   4.   Enter the text you need in the footnote or endnote:

Example of the footnote text in Word 365

Note: See how to format footnotes and endnotes for more details.

   5.   Double-click the number or symbol at the beginning of the note to return to the document content.


Converting Footnotes and Endnotes

Word can convert footnotes to endnotes, and vice versa:

  • To convert one footnote to an endnote, right-click the footnote, then click Convert to Endnote in the popup menu:
    Convert to Endnote in the popup menu Word 365
  • To convert one endnote to a footnote, right-click the endnote, then click Convert to Footnote in the popup menu.
  • To convert all footnotes to endnotes or convert all endnotes to footnotes, do the following:

       1)   Right-click any of the footnotes or endnotes, then select Note Options... in the popup menu:

    Note Options in the popup menu Word 365

       2)   In the Footnotes and Endnotes dialog box, click the Convert... button:

    Convert in Footnotes and Endnotes dialog box Word 365

       3)   In the Convert Notes dialog box, choose the option you need:

    Convert Notes dialog box in Word 365
    • Convert all footnotes to endnotes (is active if there is at least one footnote in the document)
    • Convert all endnotes to footnotes (is active if there is at least one endnote in the document)
    • Swap footnotes and endnotes (is active if there are at least one footnote and one endnote in the document)

Select all footnotes in the document

To select all footnotes in the document, click inside any footnote, then press Ctrl+A.

To select all endnotes in the document, click inside any endnote, then press Ctrl+A:

Select all endnotes in Word 365

Edit and move footnotes and endnotes

To edit a footnote or endnote, click inside the note and make corrections.

To move a footnote or endnote from one location in the document to another, do the following:

   1.   Select the reference mark in the document.

   2.   Do one of the following to cut the selection:

  • On the Home tab, in the Clipboard group, click the Cut button:
    Cut in Word 365
  • Right-click the selection and choose Cut in the popup menu.
  • Press Ctrl+X.

   3.   Place the cursor in the new location.

   4.   Do one of the following to paste selection:

  • On the Home tab, in the Clipboard group, click the Paste button.
  • Right-click and choose Paste in the popup menu.
  • Press Ctrl+V.

Word moves the reference mark and the note to the correct place; also, it renumbers footnotes and endnotes.


Move among footnotes and endnotes

To move among footnotes and endnotes, on the References tab, in the Footnotes group, click the Next Footnote button, then select one of the options:

Next Footnote button in Word 365
  • Next Footnote,
  • Previous Footnote,
  • Next Endnote,
  • Previous Endnote.

Notes:

  1. To move to the next footnote, you can just click the Next Footnote button in the Footnotes group on the Reference tab.
  2. See more about navigating in the document.

Display footnotes or endnotes

To display the note's content in the Word document, do one of the following:

  • On the References tab, in the Footnotes group, click the Show Notes button to display the list of footnotes or endnotes:
    Show Notes button in Word 365

    If there are footnotes and endnotes in the document, Word asks which type of notes you want to see:

    Show Notes dialog box in Word 365
  • Double-click a reference mark in the document's body to display its corresponding footnote or endnote.

Note: If you hover the mouse over a reference mark in the document text, a tooltip appears with a full footnote or endnote text, so you don't need to scroll up and down to check footnotes and endnotes as you read or write:

Example of the note in Word 365

Remove the Footnote and Endnote

To delete the footnote or endnote in the Word document, select its reference mark (number or symbol that refers to the footnote or endnote), and press the Delete key.

Note: If you delete the text and the number from the footnote or endnote pane, it does not delete the number in the document text itself. Word still thinks the deleted footnote or endnote is still active. You need to delete the original reference mark in the document.

After removing any note, Microsoft Word automatically renumbers the footnotes and endnotes.

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