Insert or create footnotes and endnotes

Footnotes and endnotes are used in printed documents to explain, comment on, or provide references for text in a document. You might use footnotes for detailed comments and endnotes for citation of sources.

 Note   If you want to create a bibliography, you can find commands for creating and managing sources and citations on the References tab in the Citations & Bibliography group.

In this article


About footnotes and endnotes

A footnote or an endnote consists of two linked parts — the note reference mark (note reference mark: A number, character, or combination of characters that indicates that additional information is contained in a footnote or endnote.) and the corresponding note text.


Example of a footnote and an endnote in a document

Callout 1 Footnote and endnote reference marks
Callout 2 Separator line
Callout 3 Footnote text
Callout 4 Endnote text

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Insert a footnote or an endnote

Microsoft Word automatically numbers footnotes and endnotes for you. You can use a single numbering scheme throughout a document, or you can use different numbering schemes within each section (section: A portion of a document in which you set certain page formatting options. You create a new section when you want to change such properties as line numbering, number of columns, or headers and footers.) in a document.

Commands for inserting and editing footnotes and endnotes can be found on the References tab in the Footnotes group.


Word 2010: Footnotes group on the References tab

Callout 1 Insert Footnote
Callout 2 Insert Endnote
Callout 3 Footnote & Endnote Dialog Box Launcher

When you add, delete, or move notes that are automatically numbered, Word renumbers the footnote and endnote reference marks.

 Note   If the footnotes in your document are numbered incorrectly, your document may contain tracked changes. Accept the tracked changes so that Word will correctly number the footnotes and endnotes.

  1. In Print Layout view (Print Layout view: A view of a document or other object as it will appear when you print it. For example, items such as headers, footnotes, columns, and text boxes appear in their actual positions.), click where you want to insert the note reference mark.
  2. On the References tab, in the Footnotes group, click Insert Footnote or Insert Endnote. Word inserts the note reference mark and places the insertion point in the text area of the new footnote or endnote.

Keyboard shortcut  To insert a footnote, press CTRL+ALT+F. To insert an endnote, press CTRL+ALT+D.

By default, Word places footnotes at the end of each page and endnotes at the end of the document.

  1. Type the note text.
  2. Double-click the footnote or endnote reference mark to return to the reference mark in the document.
  3. To change the location or format of footnotes or endnotes, click the Footnote & Endnote Dialog Box Launcher, and do one of the following:
    • To convert footnotes to endnotes or endnotes to footnotes, under Location choose either Footnotes or Endnotes and then click Convert. In the Convert Notes dialog box, click OK.
    • To change the numbering format, click the desired formatting in the Number format box and click Apply.
    • To use a custom mark instead of a traditional number format, click Symbol next to Custom mark, and then choose a mark from the available symbols. This will not change the existing note reference marks. It will only add new ones.

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Change the number format of footnotes or endnotes

  1. Place the insertion point in the section (section: A portion of a document in which you set certain page formatting options. You create a new section when you want to change such properties as line numbering, number of columns, or headers and footers.) in which you want to change the footnote or endnote format. If the document is not divided into sections, place the insertion point anywhere in the document.
  2. On the References tab, click the Footnote & Endnote Dialog Box Launcher.
  3. Click Footnotes or Endnotes
  4. In the Number format box, click the option that you want.
  5. Click Apply.

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Change the starting value for footnotes or endnotes

Word will automatically number footnotes beginning with "1" and endnotes beginning with "i", or you can choose a different starting value.

 Note   If the footnotes in your document are numbered incorrectly, your document may contain tracked changes. Accept the tracked changes so that Word will correctly number the footnotes and endnotes.

  1. On the References tab, in the Footnotes group, click the Footnote & Endnote Dialog Box Launcher.

Word 2010 Footnote & endnote Dialogue Box Launcher

  1. In the Start at box, choose the desired starting value.
  2. Click Apply.

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Create a footnote or endnote continuation notice

If a footnote or endnote is too long to fit on a page, you can create a continuation notice to let readers know that a footnote or endnote is continued on the next page.

  1. Make sure that you are in Draft view by going to the View tab and clicking Draft.
  1. On the References tab, in the Footnotes group, click Show Notes.
  1. If your document contains both footnotes and endnotes, a message appears. Click View footnote area or View endnote area, and then click OK.
  2. In the note pane list, click Footnote Continuation Notice or Endnote Continuation Notice.
  3. In the note pane, type the text that you want to use for the continuation notice.

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Change or remove a footnote or endnote separator

Word separates document text from footnotes and endnotes with a short horizontal line called a note separator. If a note overflows onto the next page, Word prints a longer line called a note continuation separator. You can customize separators by adding text or graphics.

  1. Make sure that you are in Draft view by going to the View tab and clicking Draft.
  1. On the References tab, in the Footnotes group, click Show Notes.
  1. In the note pane list, click and choose the type of separator you want to change or remove.
    1. To change the separator that appears between the document text and notes, click Footnote Separator or Endnote Separator.
    2. To change the separator for notes that continue from the previous page, click Footnote Continuation Separator or Endnote Continuation Separator.
  2. Select the separator and make changes:
  • To remove the separator, press DELETE.
  • To edit the separator, insert a Clip Art divider line or type text.
  • To restore the default separator, click Reset.

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Delete a footnote or an endnote

When you want to delete a note, you work with the note reference mark in the document window, not the text in the note.


A note reference mark in a document

Callout 1 Note reference mark

If you delete an automatically numbered note reference mark, Word renumbers the notes in the new order.

Delete a note

  • In the document, select the note reference mark of the footnote or endnote that you want to delete, and then press DELETE.

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Applies to:
Word 2010