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How to add footnotes in Word, format them or convert to endnotes

how to add footnotes in Word

Outlines steps for how to add footnotes in Word, how to add endnotes, how to format footnotes and endnotes with shortcuts or using the References tab, how to insert multiple references to the same footnote, and how to change footnotes to endnotes — and vice versa.

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Footnotes are used to add more information about elements of your text without cluttering your text too much. You can decide whether you want to add footnotes to Word while you are writing your Microsoft Word document, or after you have already finished. We explain here how to add footnotes to Word and also how to add endnotes.

How to add footnotes in Word

how to add footnotes in Word

1st step: Insert footnote

Click on the place in the text where you want the footnote to appear later. Now switch to the ” References ” tab at the top (also ” Reference ” in older versions ) and click the ” Insert footnote ” button .

2nd step: Edit footnote

You will now jump to the bottom of the page, where you can add the information about the footnote in the document.

How to add footnotes in Word: adding extra footnotes

You can create as many footnotes as you want. If you now add a new footnote in the text later on, the numbering of the footnotes is automatically adjusted. Word counts the number of footnotes in the document, numbers the new footnote to fit in with them, whether you have added the new footnote after the others, in between two existing ones, or even a new one that goes before all the others already in the document.

How to add endnotes in Word

Follow the steps above for how to add footnotes in Word, but in the References tab, choose Endnotes instead of Footnotes. Word will automatically take you to the end of the document to add the information each time for each footnote. Like footnotes, you can add as many as you like, and Word will renumber the existing ones if you insert others later on.

Keyboard shortcut to add footnotes in Word

Alternatively, you can insert a footnote into your document with the key combination [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [F].

How to format footnotes and endnotes in Word

Use the following steps to change the formatting of your footnotes in Word from a footnote already in the docuement.

  1. Open the document in which you want to format the footnotes.
  2. Right-click a footnote.
  3. A context window opens. In it, select the “Format template” item.
  4. Click the “Change …” button to open an overview of the current formatting.
  5. Change the font size, font and paragraph according to your preferences and confirm with “Apply”. These changes then apply to all footnotes and endnotes.

How to format footnotes and endnotes in Word using the References tab

  1. In the References tab, expand the menu for the footnotes.
  2. Choose whether you want to change the format of the footnotes or the endnotes.
  3. You can now specify for the endnotes and footnotes, among other things, which format they should have (numbers, letters, symbols) and which number they should begin with.
  4. You can change the font size and other settings of the text in the endnotes or footnotes. These changes then apply to all footnotes and endnotes.

Inserting multiple references to the same footnote

Sometimes it is necessary to refer to the same footnote several times in a Word document. How to do this is briefly described after the click.
If you have several passages in the text that have to refer to a single footnote , you cannot simply insert them at every affected position, otherwise you would get several identical footnotes with different numbering. You need to use a cross-reference, which works like this:

1. Insert the first footnote

The first footnote is normally placed via ” Insert footnote ” in the References tab .

2. Add the next footnote as a cross reference.

The next footnotes to be set are added in the References tab using the ” Cross reference ” button. The ” Cross reference ” selection menu opens .

3. Select cross-reference in the selection menu

” Footnote ” can now be selected as the reference type in the selection menu. From the list of footnotes, select the footnote in question – created under 1. – to which cross-reference should be made. Finally, under References, select the entry “ Footnote number (formatted) ” so that the link of the cross-reference is formatted like a footnote.

Note : It is not only possible to refer to footnotes in the cross-reference selection menu. Figures, tables, headings, etc. are also available as reference types.

How to change footnotes to endnotes or change endnotes to footnotes

It sometimes happens that you might change your mind about how you want to present references: footnotes vs endnotes.

When your word document contains footnotes and endnotes, you are able to do the following 3 things:

  • a. Convert all footnotes to endnotes;
  • b. Convert all endnotes to footnotes;
  • c. Swap footnotes and endnotes.

Step 1: Click anywhere in the word document;

Step 2: Click the “References” tab from the ribbon;

Step 3: Click the right-bottom corner in the “Footnotes” section;

Step 4: In the new window, check “Convert” button;

Step 5: Select the convert type, click “OK” and close the “Footnote and Endnote” window.