How to Use Footnotes in Microsoft Word

By M. Wade

Microsoft Word, the widely used word-processing program that is part of the Microsoft Office suite, allows users to insert and format footnotes. When inserting footnotes in a Word document, Word automatically numbers them and provides a variety of footnote formatting options.

Step 1

Click "Insert" from the menu bar. The menu bar is located at the top of the screen. The Insert menu allows you to place footnotes, hyperlinks, symbols, pictures, files, page numbers and other objects into your Word document.

Step 2

Go to "Reference," then click "Footnote." Selecting the "Footnote" menu will open a dialog box in which you can select several options pertaining to the footnote you are preparing to insert.

Step 3

Choose a location for the footnote. If you want the footnote to appear at the bottom margin of the page, select the radio button next to "Footnote." If you want it to appear at the end of the document, select the radio button next to "Endnote."

Step 4

Format the footnote. The "Number Format" drop-down menu offers several numbering styles that can be applied to the number to be placed in the text signaling your footnote. You can choose Roman Numerals, letters or symbols. Alternatively, you can input your own symbol. You will also have the option of choosing whether to use continuous numbering, restarting the numbering for every page or section or starting the footnotes with a number other than "1."

Step 5

Apply the changes and insert the footnote. After you have selected the formatting options for your footnote, select the drop-down menu at the bottom of the dialog box to apply the changes to the entire document or a certain section of the document. When you have finished making all your formatting choices, click the "Insert" button at the bottom of the dialog box. This will insert a footnote signal into the text and will automatically place the cursor at the bottom margin for you to begin typing the text of the footnote.

Tips & Warnings

  • Any time you insert an additional footnote, Word will automatically number the footnote and place it beneath the previous footnote, even if you go back and add footnotes later.