How to Add Footnotes in word and Endnotes in Microsoft Word


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If you are writing a document for work or education, you may want to add references. These may include explanatory websites, quotes, or comments. If your document does not require a specific reference section on the page, you can use footnotes and closing notes. Microsoft Word makes it easy to add footnotes in word or endnotes to your document, and you have the flexibility to customize them.

Footnotes versus closing notes

Using a footnote or closing note, you can insert a simple number, letter, or symbol next to the corresponding word or phrase in the text that directs the reader to another part of the document. This allows you to add more details without being distracted from the body of the document. The reader can jump to the footnote or endnote, with the reference number, if desired.

The main difference between footnotes and endnotes is their position in the document.

Notes to the foot are usually displayed at the bottom (footer) of the page, while the end of the note is usually shown to the end of the document.

However, in Microsoft Word, you can change the position of each type of note that we will show you in the Customize footnotes and endnotes section.

The type of note you use is up to you unless you are required to use one or the other, such as in school essays.

Add Footnotes in Word

Whether you are using Microsoft Word on Windows or Mac, the steps are the same for adding footnotes or endnotes.

  1. Place your cursor within the document where you want the reference number for the footnote or endnote. This is usually at the beginning of a word or phrase.
  2. Click on the References tab.
  3. Select Insert Note to the foot or Insert note at the foot according to your preferences.
  4. You will see the number entered in the text and you will be directed to the note to write your reference.

You can continue adding multiple footnotes or endnotes in the same way and they will be numbered in order accordingly.

Customize footnotes and endnotes in Word

You can change the position, layout, and format of the footnotes and endnotes. This gives you good flexibility.

  1. Go to one of the notes in the document and right-click.
  2. In Windows, select known options and Mac, select Note to the foot of the context menu.
  3. Then make your changes to one of the following options and click Apply.

Position: For footnotes, you can select the bottom of the page or the text below. For closing notes, you can choose between End of Section or End of Document.

Footer Layout: By default, the layout will match the layout of the document section. But if you want your footnotes or closing notes in columns, you can choose from one to four columns from the drop-down box.

Format: This area gives you the opportunity to choose the Number format, use a custom sign or symbol, choose a start of the number and select continuous numbering or restart it on each page or section.

Change or delete a separator

The separator is the line that appears in the footnote and endnote areas that “separates” the notes from the text. By default, you will see a single line, but you can change it or even remove it if you want.

  1. Select the View tab and in the Views group, choose Draft.
  2. Go to the body of the text and double-click the footnote or endnote.
  3. When the notes panel appears at the bottom of the page, select Notes Separator from the drop-down box.
  4. To remove the separator, select it and press its Backspace or Delete. To change its appearance, select it, then use Word’s formatting functions on the Home tab.

You’ll notice that you can also select other options from the drop-down box in the Footnote panel. So if you want to format the note text differently, for example, select an option in the box and make the formatting changes.

When you’re done using the Notes panel, you can use the X in the upper right corner to close it and continue working in draft view. Alternatively, just select the view you were using, for example, Print Layout, on the View tab.

Convert footnotes or endnotes

If you add footnotes that you want to convert to endnotes or vice versa, you can convert them. Also, you can convert a single note or change it. That’s how.

Convert a single note

To convert a single note, right-click and choose Convert to Footnote / Endnote.

Convert all notes

  1. Go to a footnote or endnote in the document and right-click.
  2. In Windows, select known options and Mac, select Note to the foot of the context menu.
  3. Click the Convert button.
  4. Select one of the first two options to convert all footnotes or endnotes in the document.

Change footnotes and endnotes

Since you can use both footnotes and endnotes in a Word document, you may want to do a full interchange. To convert footnotes to endnotes and vice versa, do the following.

  1. Go to a footnote or endnote in the document and right-click.
  2. In Windows, select known options and Mac, select Note to the foot of the context menu.
  3. Click the Convert button.
  4. Select the third option to exchange footnotes and closing notes.

Browse your notes

There are a few options for viewing and navigating between footnotes and endnotes in the document.

See each next or previous note

If you want to see each footnote and endnote reference within the text, place your cursor in the body of the text. Then click the References tab and use the Note button at the bottom of the next page on the Ribbon.

You can also click the arrow next to that button to switch to footnotes or later or earlier notes.

If you’d rather see the actual notes you’ve added, hover over one of them and then use the Next Note button.

Show known areas

Maybe you just want to see the notes you have added. Also, both footnotes and endnotes are present in the document.

You can click the Show Notes button on the ribbon on the References tab. Then choose to display the footnote or endnote areas. If you only have one type of note in your document, this button will simply take you to the notes section on that page.

See reference notes

If you’re in the text and want to go directly to the footnote or endnote, just double-click the number, letter, or symbol.

If you are in the Notes area and want to go directly to the reference text, right-click the note and select Go to Footnote / Closing Note.

Delete footnotes or endnotes

You can easily delete individual notes or all footnotes or endnotes from your Word document.

Delete a single footnote or endnote

Deleting a single footnote or endnote is simple. Go to the footnote or endnote reference in the text and remove the number, letter, or symbol.

The numbering of the remaining notes will be adjusted automatically.

Delete all footnotes and endnotes

If you want to remove all footnotes or endnotes from your document, this involves a few steps, but it doesn’t take long to use the Find and Replace feature.

In Windows, select the Startup tab, click the arrow next to Search, and select Advanced Search. Go to the Replace tab.

On Mac, select Edit from the menu bar, and next to Find, choose to Replace .

  1. In the top Search box, enter “^ f” for footnotes or “^ e” for endnotes.
  2. In the next box for Replace, leave blank.
  3. Click Replace All.

You will receive a confirmation of the number of items removed/replaced.

Use footnotes and endnotes for useful references in Word

Many people don’t think about using footnotes and endnotes in their Word documents. But these helpful ways of adding websites, notes, or quotes can help keep your readers’ eyes on your words without reference distractions.

By Techuism


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