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How to insert footnotes in MS Word

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How to insert footnotes in MS Word

If you're just getting started with Microsoft Office tools, you might be unfamiliar with how to insert footnotes in Word.

Footnotes play a crucial role in enhancing the quality and readability of your documents. They allow you to provide valuable context, citations, and explanations, ensuring that your readers can access additional information without interrupting the flow of your main text.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through the step-by-step process of inserting footnotes in Microsoft Word.

How to insert footnotes in Word

Whether you're a student working on a research paper or a professional creating a document with citations, mastering the skill of adding footnotes in Word will significantly elevate the clarity and professionalism of your written work.

To insert footnotes in Word:

  • Place the cursor at the location in the document where you want to insert the footnote
  • Click on the "References" tab in the Word ribbon, and select "Insert Footnote"
  • Word will automatically add a superscript number at the cursor location and take you to the bottom of the page where you can type your footnote text
  • Type your footnote content
  • To return to where you left off in the document, simply double-click the number at the beginning of the note.

It is worth mentioning that you can also customise the formatting of footnotes, such as the numbering style and location, by going to the "Footnote Reference" dialog box in the "References" (or "Tools" on Mac) tab.

Is there a shortcut to add a footnote in Word?

Indeed, there are keyboard shortcuts to add footnotes in Word.


On Windows, simply press Alt + Ctrl + F, and on Mac, use Option + Command + F to add a footnote in Word. This will insert a footnote marker at the cursor location and take you to the footnote area for you to enter your footnote text.

And that's how you can insert footnotes in Microsoft Word. Remember to format your footnotes according to your preferred citation style, such as MLA, APA, Chicago, etc., as required by your document or publication guidelines.

While you are here, make sure you check out how to use Microsoft Copilot in Word. Also, learn how to double space in Word.

For more articles like this, take a look at our Apps and How To page.