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MS Word Footnote Fun

Friday, November 19th, 2004 by | Filed Under: MS Word

MS Word Footnote Fun

Here’s the scenario: you’re working in MS Word, happily moving through the material, creating a complete masterpiece. Suddenly you realize you need to footnote a statement. What do you do?

Well… you could do as I’ve seen so many do—type until you’re close to the bottom of the page and simply type the text into the middle of the document. Looks ok on the first run but a true nightmare when you edit the paper later on. You know, you add text above the footnote and oops… it’s now on the top of the next page. Or… you delete some text and now it’s in the middle of the page.

What a mess!

So maybe you gave up on the footnote idea and converted to endnotes.

That worked better—but did you find it annoying to constantly scroll between the endnotes page and the text of the document?

To top it all off, I bet you spent some time trying to figure out how to make the footnote / endnote numbers superscripts. And then once you did figure it out, I bet it was a bit of a pain.

OK, these are obviously solutions that could work, but they just can’t be the best solution.

Good observation!

Ready for a better way to create footnotes and endnotes?


Glad to hear it.

Let’s get right to it.

The first thing you need to do is to place the cursor exactly where you need a footnote or endnote in the document. (And I mean exactly where you want the note number to appear.)

Next you need to go to the Insert menu, Footnote choice. (Alt then I then N will also work.)

The Footnote and Endnote window will open.


In the top section you need to decide whether you want footnotes or endnotes.

Below that you need to select what type of notation you want in the paper. You can select either regular numbering (Word will number them consecutively for you) or use custom marks.

If you want custom marks then you have two choices.

First, you can type into the field the mark you want to use for the current note.

Or, you can click the Symbol button and select a mark from there.

If you click the Options button you’ll be taken to the Notes Options window.


Here you have two tabs: one tab for footnote settings and the other for endnote settings.

This window gives you choices concerning things such as note placement, numbering style, starting number and where to restart numbering (if at all).

When you’ve set everything to fit your needs click OK.

Click OK again in the Footnote and Endnote window.


You’re returned to your document, with the note mark in place, and your cursor at the bottom of the window awaiting the note information.

If you use the Page / Print Layout View the notes will appear at the bottom of the page below a short horizontal line.


If you use the Normal View then the notes appear in a separate window at the bottom.


You can choose to leave the notes pane open while you work or you can choose to close it. (The Close button in at the top of the notes pane.) If you close it and want it re-opened simply go to the View menu, Footnotes choice.

When you’ve finished you can click back into the document and continue working. Repeat the process at each point an endnote or footnote should appear.

Well, now that we’ve got the basics of inserting the notes it’s probably a good idea to quickly cover how to delete a note.

No need to go to the notes pane—simply highlight the notes mark and hit the delete key.

Voila! Note all gone. (And if you’re using consecutively numbered notes you’ll notice that Word has conveniently renumbered everything too!)

Let the footnote fun begin.

~ April

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