How to Make a Footnote in Microsoft Word 2016

494616 How to Make a Footnote in Microsoft Word 2016

Microsoft Word allows you to add footnotes and endnotes to documents to reference sources or provide additional commentary. Footnotes appear at the bottom of the page, while endnotes are compiled at the end of the document. Making footnotes in Word 2016 is easy – just follow these steps.

Inserting Footnotes

To insert a footnote in Word 2016:

  1. Place your cursor where you want the superscript reference number to appear in the text (usually at the end of the sentence you want to reference).
  2. On the References tab in the Ribbon, click the Insert Footnote button.
    • Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut Alt+Ctrl+F to insert a footnote.
  3. Word will automatically:
    • Insert a superscripted number where your cursor was.
    • Move your cursor to the bottom of the page.
    • Insert the numbered footnote there.
  4. Type your footnote text.
  5. To return from the footnote area to your document text, double click anywhere in the document text.

Changing Footnote Properties

You can customize the way footnotes appear in your Word document by changing footnote properties:

To access footnote options:

  1. Click the References tab > Footnotes group dialog box launcher.
  2. A Footnote and Endnote dialog box will open.

You can change options like:

  • Footnote number format (numeric, alphabetic, symbolic)
  • Footnote starting number
  • Number restart options
  • Footnote position (bottom of page or below text)
  • Footnote separator line (yes/no)

To format footnote text:

  • Select the footnote text and use the Home tab to change things like:
    • Font, font size, text color
    • Paragraph alignment
    • Line spacing
    • Borders and shading

This allows you to differentiate footnote text from body text.

Inserting Multiple Footnotes

You can insert multiple footnotes in a document by repeating the insertion steps:

  1. Position cursor
  2. Insert Footnote button
  3. Type new footnote

Word automatically numbers footnotes sequentially from the beginning of the document.

To insert multiple footnotes on a single statement:

  1. Separate citations with semicolons.
  2. Select all citations.
  3. Insert one footnote.

The single footnote will contain sequential superscript numbers.

Deleting Footnotes

To delete a footnote:

  1. Highlight the footnote text.
  2. Press Delete on your keyboard.

The corresponding superscript reference number is also removed.

To delete just the footnote number:

  1. Click once to position the cursor before the footnote number in the document text.
  2. Press Delete on your keyboard.

The footnote text at the bottom still remains. This unlinking allows you to reuse the existing footnote elsewhere.

Converting Between Footnotes and Endnotes

Switching between footnotes and endnotes in Word is simple:

  1. Click the References tab
  2. Click the Footnotes group dialog box launcher
  3. Click Convert

Word will automatically:

  • Convert all footnotes to endnotes
  • Move the notes to the end of the document
  • Number accordingly

The feature works in both directions, allowing easy switching between footnote and endnote formats.

Footnotes vs. Endnotes: What’s the Difference?

Footnotes are notes that appear at the bottom of each page. Footnotes stay on the same page as the annotated content for easy reference.

Endnotes are notes that display at the very end of a document, under a centered Endnotes header. Endnotes allow uninterrupted document text.

Factors like paper length, number of notes, and reader experience impact whether footnotes or endnotes are preferable. Both footnote types allow proper source documentation.

Troubleshooting Footnote Issues

Some common footnote errors in Word include:

  • Disappearing footnote numbers
  • Incorrect footnote numbering sequence
  • Footnote numbers converting to text
  • Positioning issues

These problems typically arise from inadvertent text deletions or style interference.

To fix footnote issues:

  1. Click the References tab
  2. Click the Footnotes group dialog box launcher
  3. Click Convert
  4. Choose Convert to Footnote or Convert to Endnote

Converting footnotes resets the numbering and positioning. This often resolves strange footnote behavior.

Footnote Best Practices

Follow these guidelines when using footnotes for maximum effectiveness:

  • Keep footnotes brief – use them for citations or quick commentary, not long tangents.
  • Use sequential superscript numbers for multiple footnotes on one statement.
  • Customize footnote format early on so numbering remains consistent.
  • Reset footnote numbers by section for long documents.
  • Make sure footnotes are easily distinguishable from document text through format changes.
  • Insert footnotes after punctuation in a sentence.
  • Avoid overusing footnotes by integrating information into actual text.
  • Use endnotes for paper drafts to facilitate revision before finalizing.

Additional Footnoting Options

As well as footnote tools in the text editor, Word 2016 has features to manage sources:

  • Citations & Bibliography group on the References tab
  • Built-in citation style guides
  • Bibliography formatting tools
  • Third party citation plugins

These tools help you cite reference materials, format bibliographies, and assist with academic paper writing.