Skip to main content

How to insert footnotes in Word

Whether you're in school or at work, there might be a time when you have to work on a project that requires footnotes. And while they can appear complex, they're actually pretty simple to create. Especially in Microsoft Word. In this guide, we'll show you how to insert footnotes in Word in just a few quick steps.




5 minutes

What You Need

  • A PC

  • Microsoft Word

How to insert footnotes in Word

The following instructions should be applicable to the following versions of Microsoft Word: Word for Microsoft 365, Word 2021, Word 2019, Word 2016, Word 2013, Word 2010, and Word 2007. The screenshots featured in this article were taken of Word for Microsoft 365.

Step 1: Choose your desired location for the footnote in your document. Then click on it.

Step 2: Select the References tab from the ribbon menu at the top of the screen.

how to insert footnote in word ms references tab screenshot

Step 3: Click on Insert Footnote.

Step 4: You'll immediately be taken to the end of the page to a space where you can enter your footnote. Type your footnote here.

how to insert footnote in word ms type a screenshot

Step 5: When you're done typing your note, double-click on the tiny number located just before the note you just entered. Doing so will take you back to where you were in the document itself.

how to insert footnote in word ms final screenshot

How to insert footnotes in Word: Use a keyboard shortcut

If you know you need to add a lot of footnotes to your project, you may not want to navigate to the References tab every single time you want to add a footnote. In that case, you can just use a quick and handy keyboard shortcut. Here's how:

Step 1: Pick the location for your footnote and click on it.

Step 2: Then press the following keyboard shortcut: Alt + Ctrl + F.

Step 3: You'll then be taken to the bottom of the page to type in your footnote. When you're done typing, simply double-click the tiny number before the footnote you just entered to navigate back to where you were in the document.

Editors' Recommendations

Anita George
Anita has been a technology reporter since 2013 and currently writes for the Computing section at Digital Trends. She began…
How to take a screenshot using a Microsoft Surface
A 2017 Microsoft Surface Pro on a table.

Whether you want to capture friends and relatives making funny faces on Skype or need accessible photos of online resources or programs, screenshots benefit users in many ways. With a simple press of a keyboard’s print screen key, you essentially have the ability to capture anything and everything occurring on your desktop at any time.

Read more
How to recover unsaved Word documents
Microsoft word document.

We’ve all been there. We’re so focused on working on a Word document that we may forget to save it and then exit without thinking — not to mention system errors or Microsoft Word itself crashing. Conveniently, Microsoft provides a useful feature for the program that can recover everything you might have lost.

Here’s how to recover unsaved Word documents.

Read more
How to create a drop-down list in Excel
A man using a PC to view an Excel spreadsheet.

Implementing a drop-down list in Excel is a quick and efficient way to choose predefined data. In the process, you’re able to save time compared to manually entering such data into a given spreadsheet. Drop-down lists are perfect for several purposes, such as inputting information into a form.

Here's how to create a drop-down list in Microsoft Excel.

Read more