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How to Make Footnotes in Google Docs [Step-by-Step Guide]

December 4, 2023 1.7K views

Embark on a journey to elevate your document prowess with our step-by-step guide on making footnotes in Google Docs. Whether you're a student refining an academic paper or a professional enhancing a report, this guide demystifies the process, offering clear instructions to seamlessly integrate footnotes. Tailored for users of all levels, this resource empowers you to add depth and credibility to your work, ensuring that you master this essential skill for crafting polished and professional content in the digital age.

Part 1. How to Make a Footnote in Google Docs?

Here are the steps on how to make a footnote in Google Docs:

Step 1: Place your cursor where you want to insert the footnote.

Place your cursor where you want to insert the footnote.

Step 2: Go to the Insert menu and select Footnote.

Select Insert Footnote.

Step 3: A number will be inserted in your document and a corresponding footnote box will appear at the bottom of the page.

Step 4: Type your footnote text in the footnote box.

Type Footnote text.

Step 5: To format your footnote, select the footnote number in your document.

Step 6: In the Footnote options pane, you can change the footnote style, font size, and spacing.

As you can see, the footnote number is inserted in the document and the corresponding footnote text appears at the bottom of the page. You can also format the footnote text to make it look different from the rest of the text in your document.

Adding footnotes in Google Docs is a straightforward process that doesn't require any special expertise. The user interface is intuitive and easy to navigate, making it a user-friendly tool. I found the process to be efficient and effective for adding additional information or citations to my documents without disrupting the flow of the main text.

Part 2. How to Make a Footnote with Proper Formatting?

Footnotes are a great way to add additional information or citations to your documents without cluttering up the body text. They are often used in academic writing to provide references to sources or to elaborate on a point without interrupting the flow of the main text.

In this guide, we will walk you through the steps of how to make a footnote in Google Docs with proper formatting.

Steps to Make a Footnote in Google Docs:

Step 1: To format your footnote, select the footnote number in your document.

Step 2: In the Footnote options pane, you can change the footnote style, font size, and spacing.

Here is an example of how to make a footnote in Google Docs with proper formatting:

Example of insert footnote.

Footnotes are a valuable tool for enhancing the clarity and comprehensiveness of your documents. Google Docs provides a simple and convenient way to add footnotes with proper formatting, making it a great choice for writers and researchers alike.

Part 3. How to Make a Footnote in Google Docs on Mobile App?

Adding footnotes in the Google Docs mobile app is a simple and straightforward process, allowing you to easily incorporate additional information or citations into your documents. Whether you're using an Android or iOS device, the process is similar and can be accomplished with just a few taps.

Step 1: Open the Google Docs app on your Android device and ensure you're logged in to your Google account.

Step 2: Select the document you want to add footnotes.

Step 3: Tap the Edit icon in the top right corner of the screen to enter editing mode.

Step 4: Place your cursor where you want to insert the footnote.

Place your cursor where you want to insert the footnote.

Step 5: Tap the Insert icon (plus symbol) located at the bottom of the screen.

Select + symbol.

Step 6: Scroll down and tap "Footnote" from the Insert menu.

Select footnote button.

Select footnote button.

Step 7: A superscript number will appear at the insertion point, and a footnote text box will open at the bottom of the screen.

 A superscript number appears.

A superscript number appears.

Step 8: Type your footnote text in the provided box. You can format the text using the formatting options available in the toolbar.

Write your footnote.

Write your footnote.

Step 9: Tap the Close icon (X symbol) to save the footnote and return to the document.

Adding footnotes in the Google Docs mobile app is a convenient and efficient way to enhance your documents on the go. The intuitive interface and straightforward process make it easy to incorporate additional information or citations without disrupting the flow of your writing.

Part 4. Best Free Alternative to Google Docs -  WPS Office

 WPS logo.

WPS logo.

When it comes to word processing software, Microsoft Office is often the first name that comes to mind. However, there are several other viable options available, including WPS Office. WPS Office is a free and comprehensive office suite that offers a wide range of features, making it a great alternative to Google Docs.

WPS Office is an all-in-one suite that includes Writer, Presentation, Spreadsheet, and PDF. These tools are designed to be compatible with Microsoft Office files, so you can easily open and edit documents created in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. WPS Office also offers a number of unique features, such as:

  • WPS AI: An AI-powered tool that can help you with writing, translation, and data analysis.

  • Modern interface: WPS Office has a clean and modern interface that is easy to use.

  • Cross-platform compatibility: WPS Office is available for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS.

There are several benefits to using WPS Office over Google Docs, including:

  • Free to use: WPS Office is completely free to use, while Google Docs requires a paid subscription for certain features.

  • Offline functionality: WPS Office allows you to work on documents offline, while Google Docs requires an internet connection.

  • More features: WPS Office offers a wider range of features than Google Docs, including WPS AI and support for PDF files.

WPS Office is a great choice for users who need a powerful and versatile office suite that is also free to use. It is especially well-suited for students, businesses, and home users who need to create and edit documents, presentations, and spreadsheets.

I have been using WPS Office for several years and I have found it to be a great alternative to Google Docs. I find it to be just as powerful and easy to use as Google Docs, and I appreciate that it is free to use. I also find the WPS AI tool to be very helpful, especially when I need to write or translate text.

Overall, I highly recommend WPS Office to anyone who is looking for a free and powerful alternative to Google Docs.

In addition to the pros mentioned above, here are some other advantages of WPS Office:

  • It has a cloud storage option, WPS Cloud, which allows you to store your documents online and access them from anywhere.

  • It has a collaboration feature that allows you to work on documents with others in real time.

  • It is constantly being updated with new features and improvements.

If you are looking for a free, powerful, and versatile office suite, WPS Office is a great option. It is especially well-suited for students, businesses, and home users who need to create and edit documents, presentations, and spreadsheets.

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WPS Office- Free All-in-One Office Suite
  • Use Word, Excel, and PPT for FREE, No Ads.

  • Edit PDF files with the powerful PDF toolkit.

  • Microsoft-like interface. Easy to learn. 100% Compatibility.

  • Boost your productivity with WPS's abundant free Word, Excel, PPT, and CV templates.

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FAQs

  • What is the difference between a footnote and a footer?

Here is a table summarizing the key differences between footnotes and footers:

Feature

Footnote

Footer

Location

Bottom of the page, separated from the main text

Bottom of every page, part of the page margin

Purpose

Provide citations, definitions, or additional details

Provide page numbers, document titles, author names, dates, or company logos

Linking

Linked to the main text with a superscript number or symbol

Not linked to the main text

Content

Explanatory notes

Common information applicable to all pages

In general, footnotes are used to provide specific information related to a particular part of the text, while footers are used to provide general information about the document as a whole.

  • How do I stop a footer from repeating in Google Docs?

By default, footers in Google Docs repeat on every page of the document. However, you can prevent a footer from repeating by creating a section break and unlinking the footer from the previous section.

Here are the steps on how to stop a footer from repeating in Google Docs:

Step 1: Place your cursor at the end of the page where you want the footer to stop repeating.

Step 2: Go to the Insert menu and select Break.

Step 3: Choose Section break from the Break menu.

Select Break from Insert menu.

Select Break from Insert menu.

Step 4: Double-click the footer on the page after the section break.

Step 5: Click the Link to the previous checkbox to unlink the footer from the previous section.

Step 6: Click the Close button to save your changes.

The footer will now only appear on the pages before the section break. You can add a different footer to the pages after the section break if you wish.

  • How do I reference a footnote in the main text?

To reference a footnote in the main text of your document, insert the cursor at the point where you want the reference number to appear. Then, go to the "Insert" menu, select "Footnote," and Google Docs will automatically add a superscript number. This number corresponds to the footnote at the bottom of the page.

  • Can I add footnotes in collaboration with others in real-time?

Yes, Google Docs allows real-time collaboration, including the addition of footnotes. If multiple users are working on the document simultaneously, footnotes can be inserted and edited collaboratively, providing a seamless and efficient way to work together.

Summary

This guide walks you through adding footnotes in Google Docs with easy step-by-step instructions. It covers basic insertion, formatting, and even explores using footnotes on the mobile app. The guide also introduces WPS Office as a free alternative to Google Docs, sharing the author's positive experiences.


15 years of office industry experience, tech lover and copywriter. Follow me for product reviews, comparisons, and recommendations for new apps and software.