How to insert footnote in word document on Mac or Windows

April 20, 2022

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How to insert footnotes in Word document?
How to delete footnotes in Word document?
How to change the format style of endnotes in word document?
Benefits of Inserting Footnotes in Word
FAQs about Inserting Footnote in Word

In our daily life and work, it is a necessary skill to insert footnote in Office software. When we want to explain some words or sentences, we can insert footnotes in one or a new page in word document on Mac or Window. It is a good choice to insert footnotes in Microsoft Office Word or WPS Office Writer on Mac or Windows. However, many users don't know the methods of inserting footnotes. Today, this article will introduce to you how to insert footnotes in word document on Mac or Windows. The following are the steps to insert endnotes in Word document.

How to insert footnotes in Word document?

To add a footnote to a Word document, follow these steps:

1. Position the mouse cursor in front of the text that needs to indicate the source.

2. Head to the References tab and click the Insert Footnote button to jump to the end of the document.

3. Enter content below Footnote Separator.


  • You can follow the same process to add multiple footnotes.

  • For easier navigation between the main text and the footnotes in the Word document, Go to the footnote by double-clicking the number in the text. Similarly, when you double-click on the footnote, you can return to the main text.

How to delete footnotes in Word document?

Sometimes the footnotes are no longer needed. They become irrelevant or increase the length of the document above the desired limit. In such cases, you may want to delete them. Following are a few simple steps to delete the footnote:

1. Select the reference superscript inserted in the text.

2. Press the Delete key to delete the footnote content at the bottom of the document at the same time.


  • Removing footnotes can modify the formatting and layout of your document, so it's important to review your document after removing footnotes.

How to change the format style of endnotes in word document?

To edit a footnote and to select the location and format of a footnote in a Word document, follow these steps:

1. Head to the References tab and click the Setting button to select the Footnote/Endnote button to pop up the dialog box.

Here, we can set the endnote or footnote's location,format and so on.

2. Select Bottom of page to add a footnote to the bottom of the current page.

3. Select Below text to add footnotes under text.

4. In the list under Number format, we can select the numbering style of the footnote (e.g., select 1, 2, 3,...).

5. If you are not satisfied with the default footnote numbering style, click Symbolto customize your favorite numbering style.

6. AtStart at, you can set the starting number value for the footnote, usually keeping the default 1.

7. If you want to renumber the footnotes of different chapters in chapters, you can select the Restart each section button.

8. Click the Apply button.

By following the steps mentioned above, you can easily customize the formatting and numbering of your footnotes in Word document.


  • If you have a lot of footnotes in your document, consider using a smaller font size or reducing the spacing between lines to make them easier to read.

  • Use the same formatting for all footnotes in your document to give it a professional look. This includes the font, font size, and placement on the page.

  • If you are citing a source in your footnote, use a standard citation style to ensure consistency.

Examples of Footnote Formating Style

1. Footnotes in MLA style

Footnotes are not typically used in MLA style for in-text citations. In MLA style, parenthetical citations are used. These are short references included inside the body of your article that refers to a works referenced page located at the conclusion of the document.

2. Footnotes in Chicago style

In Chicago style, a footnote should be placed at the conclusion of the clause or statement that requires a citation. It includes the author’s name, the source's title, and information about the publication.

Benefits of Inserting Footnotes in Word

In addition to being used for citations, footnotes are highly beneficial for offering supplementary details, defining terminology, enhancing clarity, and providing explanations.

1. Additional information:

You can use footnotes to provide the definitions of technical terms used in the text. These definitions can be helpful for readers to understand complex topics. Moreover, you can present the meanings and origin of specialized vocabulary in the footnotes as additional information.

2. Attribution:

You can also use footnotes to attribute the quotations and ideas to their original source, increasing the credibility of your present data. This feature will not only help you to avoid plagiarism and copyright infringement but also allow the readers to verify the information provided.

3. Clarification:

If you are discussing a complex or technical topic in your main text, you can use a footnote to provide examples or illustrations that help clarify the topic for your readers

4. Historical Context:

If you are discussing a topic with historical or cultural significance, you can use a footnote to provide additional information about the context in which the topic arose. This can help readers understand the significance of the topic and its relevance to the broader historical or cultural context.

FAQs about Inserting Footnote in Word

Q1: What’s the Difference Between Footnotes and Endnotes?

The purpose of footnotes and endnotes is the same, i.e., to provide references and additional information to the readers. The footnotes appear at the bottom of the page on which the reference is given, whereas the endnotes appear at the end of the document, chapter, or section. Both the footnotes and endnotes are marked with a number or symbol corresponding to the reference in the main text.

Footnotes allow the reader to easily refer to the additional information while reading the main text. A document with many footnotes can become cluttered and difficult to read. Conversely, endnotes allow for a cleaner layout of the main text, but they require the reader to flip to the end of the document or chapter to see the additional information.

Q2: How to Convert Footnotes to Endnotes in Word?

Following are the steps to convert footnotes to endnotes in Word:

Step 1: Go to the References tab in Word document.

Step 2: Click on the settings buttons in the References tab

Step 3: In the Footnote and Endnote" window, select the "Convert" button.

Step 4: Choose "Convert all footnotes to endnotes"

Your footnotes will now be converted to endnotes and appear at your document's end. If you want to convert them back to footnotes, simply repeat the process and choose "Convert endnotes to footnotes”.

Q3: Why is The Footnote Located Under 'References' Instead of 'Insert'?

The "References" tab in Word contains all the tools and features related to adding citations, bibliographies, and indexes to your document. Footnotes are often used for citing sources and providing additional information, so it makes sense for this feature to be grouped with other reference-related tools.

The "Insert" tab, on the other hand, is generally reserved for more basic features such as inserting tables, pictures, and other visual elements into your document. Footnotes are more closely related to text formatting and referencing, which is why they are located under the "References" tab.


By following the methods mentioned above, you can easily insert footnotes in Word document to improve the quality and credibility of your writing. We hope you found this article helpful in solving your query regarding how to do a footnote in Word document. You can also download WPS Office to process documents or others in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for free.