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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.

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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.

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