How to Insert a Footnote in a Microsoft Word Document

By Jennifer Walker

When you are writing a document in Microsoft Word, you may find it necessary from time to time to insert a footnote in your document. Footnotes serve a couple of purposes: they direct the reader to the bottom of the page, where the author either gave credit for a fact or quote to its source or provided additional information that the reader may find useful but that would interrupt the flow if included in the main body of text. Footnotes are very common and required in many academic documents and other non-fiction work where borrowed information must be credited.

Microsoft Word 2007

Step 1

Open the document in Microsoft Word.

Step 2

Place your cursor where you want the footnote number or symbol to appear. This is usually directly after the information that needs to be credited or clarified.

Step 3

Click on the "References" menu. In the Footnotes section, you will find the "Insert Footnote" button. It has "AB1" on it.

Step 4

Click on the "Insert Footnote" button. Microsoft Word will insert a superscript number where you placed the cursor, then move the cursor to the bottom of the page where it has drawn a line and placed the same superscript number. Type in your desired footnote information.

Step 5

Customize your footnote by clicking on the little box to the right of Footnote in the menu bar. A dialogue box will appear, allowing you to change the location of the footnote and the number or symbol you use to mark the footnote. When you have made your selections, click "OK."

Step 6

When you have finished your footnote, click anywhere outside of the footnote area and continue working.

Microsoft Word 1997-2003

Step 1

Open the document in Microsoft Word.

Step 2

Place your cursor where you want the footnote number or symbol to appear. This is usually directly after the information that needs to be credited or clarified.

Step 3

Click on the Insert menu. Roll your mouse over the "Reference" button.

Step 4

Click on the "Footnote…" button. A dialogue box will appear. Choose the location of the footnote symbol, number or symbol options and click "OK."

Step 5

Confirm that Microsoft Word inserted a superscript number where you placed the cursor, then moved the cursor to the bottom of the page where it drew a line and placed the same superscript number. Type in your desired footnote information.

Step 6

When you have finished your footnote, click anywhere outside of the footnote area and continue working.