How to Add Footnote in MS Word 2013/2016 on Windows 10, 8.1 and 7 Environment

Very often we find words or definitions on a page followed by a number in superscript, for which some details or description can be found right at the bottom of the page. This is a footnote. It is a preferable method to let the readers concentrate on the context of current reading while giving all the details they need in a compact and easy to access manner.  Footnotes are most commonly used to provide annotations or references in an article or a document. These are helpful in word documents to explain a particular word in detail without side-tracking the main concept of the article or the paragraph. This guide explains how to add Footnote in Microsoft Word 2016/2013/Office 365 on Windows 10, 8.1 or Windows 7 Operating Systems. Footnotes are the best way to give the due credit to the sources used in the article. Apart from adding the value to the document, footnotes enhance the professional look of the document.

The Footnotes, in general, are used to provide;

· References to reliable sources

· Source information of statistics or tables

· Detailed explanation.

A footnote consists of two basic elements.

Footnote Marker. A footnote marker can be represented as a superscripted word, letter, or number. In the word documents a footnote marker is like a shortcut, and when you click this marker, it leads you to the full footnote on the bottom of the document. There are many options to select the way you can control the footnote marker. One such setting will allow a user to present a popup by hovering the mouse cursor over this marker. A few examples of footnote marker are [1], [a] and Note 1]

Footnote. A footnote represents full annotation of the source. The footnote label is in plain text followed by a carat. If the same footnote is used in multiple times referencing in the document, the footnote will comprise of multiple backlinks and will look like ^ a b c Citation.

The footnote list is ordered, and each footnote is incremented automatically.

Steps to Create Footnote in Word Office 365/2016 [Windows OS]

Click on references from the top menu in a word document and is located between “layout” and “mailings’. Clicking References will open many options to cite, reference, cross-reference, indexing, and bibliography.

Add Footnote in MS Word 2016

To insert a footnote at a particular place in the document, you need to click on “Insert Footnote”, it will add a footnote number, and simultaneously a separator bar will be created and presented to the document creator at the bottom of the page.



Once a footnote is created, the typing cursor will automatically be shifted to the footnote number at the end of the page to write its description as shown in the image below.

added footnote in MS Word

“Note: The keyboard shortcut to insert the footnote is by pressing the shortcut key Ctrl+Alt+F.”

Insert custom Footnote in MS Word 2016/2013

To add custom Footnote in MS word, you can click the below mark in Footnote options area as below.

custom footnote

There are a number of ways you can customize the appearance of footnotes in the document. To open the settings, click on the right corner of footnote section on the upper word menu. In the footnote and endnote windows that open you can customize your footnote in following ways.

Options in Footnote

  • In location section, you can determine the position of footnote either below the text or at the end of the bottom.
  • In formatting section, you can the select the style of numbering from various options that include 1,2,3, or a,b,c, or I, ii, iii and much more to select.
  • You have the option to select the symbol from different symbols available as a foot-mark in custom mark section.
  • You can select the numbering of the footnote as continuous running, restart at next section and restart the numbering at every page.

These are the simplest steps to add a footnote in the existing or new documents with MS Word 2016 or 2013.  The same steps can be followed if you want to add footnotes using a Mac PC. If you are a researcher frequently writing a research paper, presenting your work to your professor, writing a detailed report on a new product or an author writing a book, the footnote is a great tool to elucidate on some difficult terms or your sources of reference. Follow the above-mentioned steps and create some awesome and easy to understand documents.

Dinesh is the founder of Sysprobs and written more than 400 articles. Enthusiast in Microsoft and cloud technologies with more than 15 years of IT experience.

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