How to Cre­ate and Insert Foot­notes and End­notes in Microsoft Word

With over one billion users, Microsoft Word is one of the most important word processing software in the world today. It allows users to create personal, business, and academic documents, to mention a few. Among the features that stand out on Microsoft Word are footnotes and endnotes.

How to create and insert footnotes and endnotes in Microsoft Word feature image

These features allow users to make additional notes or provide context for words in the body of a document. Footnotes and endnotes also help provide references or further comments on different parts of the main text body. However, you'll need to use them to enhance the reliability of the text in the body. To insert them in a Word document, here’s what you should do:

Insert Footnotes and Endnotes in Word

The footnote appears on the bottom of the page, which provides refererence, while an endnote is listed at the end of the paper on separate pages. Users no longer have to manually create the Footnotes and endnotes feature on the Word Ribbon. Check the steps below to understand how to use the feature:

Step 1: Launch Microsoft Word.

How to create and insert footnotes and endnotes in Microsoft Word step 1

Step 2: Place your cursor on the part of your document text which needs the footnote or endnote.

How to create and insert footnotes and endnotes in Microsoft Word step 2

Step 3: Go to the Ribbon and click on the References tab.

How to create and insert footnotes and endnotes in Microsoft Word step 3

Step 4: Go to the Footnotes group and select either Footnotes or Endnotes. Immediately, Word inserts the superscript number and then moves your cursor to the location for the note automatically.

How to create and insert footnotes and endnotes in Microsoft Word step 4

Step 5: Write your note here.

How to create and insert footnotes and endnotes in Microsoft Word step 5

Step 6: Save the document to save the new footnote or endnote.

Convert Individual Footnotes to Endnotes in Word or Vice Versa

One way to create a footnote in Word is to convert an endnote into a footnote. Note that this option is only applicable if you initially used the footnote and endnote tool. You can also convert a footnote into an endnote using this method so long as you meet the requirement. Here’s how to convert individual footnotes to endnotes in Microsoft Word:

Step 1: Launch Microsoft Word.

How to create and insert footnotes and endnotes in Microsoft Word step 1

Step 2: At the bottom of the Word file, select Print Layout view.

Note: Make sure you select the Print Layout view for your document to ensure the conversion works.

How to create and insert footnotes and endnotes in Microsoft Word step 6

Step 3: Go to the Ribbon and click on the References tab.

How to create and insert footnotes and endnotes in Microsoft Word step 3

Step 4: Go to the Footnotes group and select Show Notes.

How to create and insert footnotes and endnotes in Microsoft Word step 7

Step 5: Click on View Footnote area or View Endnote area in the dialog box.

Note: The dialog box will not appear if the document has just one footnote or endnote.

How to create and insert footnotes and endnotes in Microsoft Word step 8

Step 6: Click on OK.

Note: You don’t have to go through Steps 2 to 5 if your document is short. Scroll to the location of the footnote or endnote on the document.

Step 7: Keep clicking on Next Footnote from the Ribbon until you get to the note you need to convert. Alternatively, you can click on the Next Footnote drop down then select any of the following options Previous Footnote, Next Footnote, Previous Endnote, or Next Endnote.

How to create and insert footnotes and endnotes in Microsoft Word step 9

Step 8: Right-click on the note that you need to convert. Select either Convert to Endnote or Convert to Footnote.

How to create and insert footnotes and endnotes in Microsoft Word step 10

Convert All Footnotes to Endnotes in Word or Vice Versa

The final method we will discuss is converting all footnotes or endnotes in Word. The process is quite easy, and you can learn how to carry it out in the steps below:

Step 1: Launch Microsoft Word.

How to create and insert footnotes and endnotes in Microsoft Word step 1

Step 2: Go to the Ribbon and select the References tab.

How to create and insert footnotes and endnotes in Microsoft Word step 3

Step 3: Go to the Footnotes group and click the Footnote and Endnote dialog box launcher.

How to create and insert footnotes and endnotes in Microsoft Word step 11

Step 4: When the dialog box opens, click on Convert.

How to create and insert footnotes and endnotes in Microsoft Word step 12

Step 5: Choose your preferred option in the Convert Notes dialog box. The options include:

  • Convert all endnotes to footnotes.
  • Convert all footnotes to endnotes.
  • Swap footnotes and endnotes.
How to create and insert footnotes and endnotes in Microsoft Word step 13

Step 6: Click on OK.

How to create and insert footnotes and endnotes in Microsoft Word step 13

Step 7: Close the dialog box by clicking on “X” in the top-right corner of the window.

Inserting Headers and Footers in Microsoft Word

That’s it for creating and inserting footnotes and endnotes in Microsoft Word. Using the Footnote and Endnote can make your document accurate and reliable. As you can see, all the processes are straightforward. You can also add a personal touch to your Word documents by inserting headers and footers.


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Maria is a Content Writer with a keen interest in Technology and Productivity Tools. Her articles can be found on sites such as Onlinetivity and Delesign. Outside of work, you can find her mini-blogging about her life on social media.