How to Make Footnotes Different on Every Page in Microsoft Word

980931 How to Make Footnotes Different on Every Page in Microsoft Word

Adding footnotes to a Word document can help provide additional context, sources, or commentary without interrupting the main text. While Word makes it easy to add identical footnotes to every page, creating different footnotes on each page takes a bit more work.

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to have different footnotes on every page in Word using sections and breaks. We’ll cover:

  • What are footnotes and how are they used
  • Creating different footnotes by page
  • Creating different footnotes by section
  • Customizing footnote appearance
  • Working with endnotes

Follow along below to start enhancing your Word documents with customized footnotes.

What Are Footnotes?

A footnote is an additional piece of text placed at the bottom of the page that provides supplemental information about a topic discussed in the main text. Footnotes serve several key purposes:

  • Citing sources and references
  • Adding commentary or explanatory details
  • Providing copyright permissions notices

In Word, footnotes are automatically marked with sequential superscript numbers that correspond to the footnote text at the bottom of each page. This connects the supplemental information to the relevant spot in the main text.

Creating Different Footnotes by Page

While Word defaults to adding identical footnotes to every page, you can create different footnotes on each page by utilizing sections and breaks. Here’s how:

  1. Place your cursor where you want the first section to end. This will be the end of page 1.
  2. Go to Layout > Breaks and select “Next Page”. This will start page 2 in a new section.
  3. Scroll down to page 2. Double click the footer area to open the footer toolbar.
  4. Deselect “Link to Previous”. This unlinks the footer from the previous section.
  5. Add, edit, or delete the footnote text as needed.
  6. Click outside the footer to exit.

Repeat these steps for each new page and section where you want different footnote text. The key points are using page breaks to divide sections and unlinking footers to customize each one.

Creating Footnotes by Section

In addition to varying footnotes by page, you can divide Word documents into multiple sections and create unique footnotes for each section.

To do this:

  1. Place your cursor where you want one section to end and a new one to start.
  2. Go to Layout > Breaks and choose “Next Page Section Break”.
  3. Scroll down to the next section. Follow steps 3-6 from above to deactivate “Link to Previous” and customize the footnote text.
  4. Repeat for each section break.

Using Next Page Section Breaks lets you create customized footnotes for long spans that may cover multiple pages. This gives you more flexibility for documents like reports, books, or theses.

Customizing Footnote Appearance

Once you’ve created different footnotes throughout your document, you may want to customize their visual appearance. Here are some formatting options:

  • Change footnote font or size by clicking the dialog box launcher in the Footnotes group on the References tab.
  • Modify footnote numbering format (numerals, symbols, custom mark) through the Footnote options.
  • Set precise spacing between footnote separator lines in the Layout tab.
  • Insert borders, background colors or lines for visual interest.

Take some time to explore the various footnote formatting options to find a style that suits your document.

Working with Endnotes

As an alternative to footnotes, Word allows you to use endnotes which appear altogether at the end of a document or section rather than at the bottom of each page.

The process for creating different endnotes by page or section is virtually identical to footnotes:

  • Use page breaks or section breaks to divide the document
  • Deactivate “Link to Previous”
  • Add, edit or delete the endnote text

The only difference is going to the Endnotes group on the References tab instead of the Footnotes group when inserting or customizing them.

So if you prefer endnotes over footnotes, you can still follow the steps in this tutorial to have customized endnotes in your Word documents.

Final Thoughts

Adding dynamic, customized footnotes or endnotes takes your Word documents to the next level. By harnessing sections, breaks, and formatting tools, you can create footnotes or endnotes tailored to each page or section rather than static repetitive ones.

Use this tutorial as a model next time you need different footnotes or endnotes throughout a report, essay, book, or other document. And don’t be afraid to experiment with formatting options until your notes have the perfect style and visual appeal.

With a bit of practice, footnotes and endnotes can change from mundane to masterful!

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