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How to add footnote in Word document

This article shows you how to add or insert a footnote in your Word document. A footnote describes additional information about something in your text. You don’t need to manually insert a footnote in Microsoft Word because there is a tool for it. The footnote reference is usually placed at the bottom of a page or below the text. Microsoft Word automatically numbers each footnote.

How to insert a footnote in Word

Usually, you want to insert a footnote at the end of a line, text, or section of your Word document. First, we will show you how to add a footnote reference at the bottom of your page. These steps work for Word versions 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, 2021, and Microsoft 365. Or look at this Microsoft article to add footnotes and endnotes in Word for Mac.

How to insert a footnote in Microsoft Word:

  1. Place your cursor in the text where you want the footnote number to appear
  2. Click on the References tab
  3. Go to the Footnotes group > Click on Insert Footnote

By default, it inserts a footnote number in superscript at the end of the text. And you will also see a reference number in your Word document at the bottom of your page. Here you can type the text for the footnote.

How to add footnote in Word document

Keyboard shortcut to insert a footnote

You can also use a keyboard shortcut to insert a footnote in your Word document.

  • First, place your cursor in the text where the footnote number should appear
  • Press Alt + Ctrl + F

The footnote should automatically appear in your Word document. By default, it takes you to the bottom of the page to type your footnote details. As shown in the picture below, the superscript number matches the footnote number in the text.

Footnote bottom of page

Add a footnote below text in a Word document

Once you insert a footnote, you can quickly go to the text you typed for it.

  • Double-click the footnote superscript number
  • It will automatically take you to the location of the related footnote in the text

You can always add more information in the footnote area. If you click on the footnote superscript number in the text, it will also take you to the same footnote at the bottom of your text.

You can also have your footnote reference visible at the end of a section or below a text.

How to add a footnote below text:

  1. Put your cursor in the text where you want the footnote number to appear
  2. Click on the References tab
  3. In the Footnotes group > click on the arrow in the corner
Insert footnotes end of text in Word document
  • It will open a Footnote and Endnote dialog box
  • In Footnotes > Click on the arrow to select > Below text
  • Then click Insert
insert Footnotes below text in Word

It automatically inserts a footnote at the end of the text, not at the end of a sentence. In our example, the footnote is placed about midway through the document. You can have footnotes at the bottom of a page and end of text if you divide your Word document into sections. If you are interested, you can learn more about how to insert a section break in Word.

The footnotes automatically renumber when you add or delete footnotes in Word. But, if you experience any issues or problems with incorrect footnote numbering in Word, this article has the solution.

footnotes below text in Word

How to add a footnote symbol in Word

How to insert a footnote symbol in Word:

  • Go to the References tab in the ribbon
  • Click on the arrow in the Footnotes group
Open the Footnote and Endnote dialog box

It will open the Footnote and Endnote dialog box.

  1. In the Footnote and Endnote dialog box >click on Symbol
  2. It will open the Symbol dialog box > Select a symbol
  3. Click OK in the Symbol dialog box
steps to add footnote symbol

Going back to the Footnote and Endnote dialog box, it automatically inserts the symbol you selected in the Custom mark box. Also, the number format is greyed out, as shown in the picture below.

Remember to apply changes to the whole document. Lastly, click on the Insert button. Word automatically inserts the footnote symbol in your Word document.

insert footnotes in symbol

Add footnote in Arabic letters or Roman numbers

You can also insert footnotes with Arabic letters, Roman numerals, or symbols. But, first, you need to open the Footnote and Endnote dialog box to add it.

It will open the Footnote and Endnote dialog box in your Word document. Now you need to go to Format.

  • In the Number Format, you can see 1, 2, 3
  • Click on the arrow to see the entire selection
    • Then choose one of the footnote numbering (ABC, iii, Roman, Arabic, or symbols)
  • Remember to apply changes to the Whole Document
  • Click Insert

It will add a footnote in the number format you chose.

Conclusion

You have learned to insert a footnote in a Microsoft Word document. Use the keyboard shortcut (Alt + Ctrl + F), or click the Insert footnote from the References tab in the ribbon. Word automatically adds a footnote superscript number in your text and at the bottom of your page, where you can type additional information. You can insert footnotes in (Arabic) letters, Roman numbers, symbols, and more from the Footnote and Endnote dialog box.

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