How to Add Footnote in Word: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

How to Add Footnote in Word

Adding a footnote in Microsoft Word is a simple way to provide additional information or citations without cluttering your main text. To do this, you need to use Word’s built-in features that allow you to insert and format footnotes with just a few clicks. Here’s a quick overview: place your cursor where you want the footnote number to appear, go to the "References" tab, click on "Insert Footnote," and then type your footnote text at the bottom of the page.

Step-by-step Tutorial for Adding a Footnote in Word

In this section, we’ll go through the detailed steps to add footnotes in Word. By the end of these steps, you’ll know exactly how to insert footnotes, customize them, and ensure they look perfect in your document.

Step 1: Place the cursor

Start by placing your cursor where you want the footnote number to appear.

Positioning your cursor is crucial because the footnote number will appear exactly where the cursor is. Make sure it’s at the end of the sentence or phrase you want to reference.

Step 2: Go to the "References" tab

Navigate to the "References" tab located in the top menu bar.

The "References" tab contains all the tools you need for citations, footnotes, and endnotes. It’s your go-to section for any referencing needs.

Step 3: Click on "Insert Footnote"

Click on the "Insert Footnote" button in the "References" tab.

Once clicked, Word automatically inserts a superscript number in your text and moves the cursor to the bottom of the page where you can type your footnote.

Step 4: Type your footnote text

Type the information or citation you want to include in the footnote.

This is your chance to add any details, references, or explanations that support the main text without interrupting its flow.

Step 5: Customize the footnote if necessary

You can adjust the footnote format by clicking the small arrow in the bottom-right corner of the "Footnotes" group.

Customization options allow you to change the number format, adjust the layout, or even convert footnotes to endnotes and vice versa.

After you complete these steps, your document will display small numbers that correspond to detailed notes at the bottom of the page. This ensures your work remains clean and easy to read while still providing all necessary information.

Tips for Adding a Footnote in Word

  • Always double-check the placement of your cursor before inserting a footnote to avoid errors.
  • Use the "Footnote and Endnote" dialog box to customize the appearance of your footnotes.
  • Keep footnotes concise to maintain readability; long footnotes can be distracting.
  • Regularly save your document while adding footnotes to prevent any loss of work.
  • Use a consistent format for all footnotes throughout the document to ensure a professional appearance.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of a footnote?

A footnote provides additional information or citations without interrupting the main text. It helps keep the document clean and focused.

Can I insert multiple footnotes in one document?

Yes, you can insert multiple footnotes in a single document. Word automatically numbers them sequentially.

How do I edit a footnote once it’s inserted?

Click on the footnote number in the text, and it will take you to the bottom of the page where you can edit the footnote text.

Can I change the numbering format of footnotes?

Yes, you can change the numbering format by clicking the small arrow in the bottom-right corner of the "Footnotes" group under the "References" tab.

How do I delete a footnote?

Simply delete the footnote number in the main text, and Word will automatically remove the corresponding footnote at the bottom of the page.


  1. Place the cursor.
  2. Go to the "References" tab.
  3. Click on "Insert Footnote."
  4. Type your footnote text.
  5. Customize the footnote if necessary.


Adding a footnote in Word is a straightforward process that can significantly enhance your document by providing additional information without crowding the main text. By following the simple steps outlined above, you can efficiently insert, edit, and customize footnotes to suit your needs. Remember to keep them concise and consistent to maintain the readability and professionalism of your document. Footnotes are a powerful tool in Word that can elevate the quality of your work, making it easier for readers to follow and understand complex information. So go ahead, add that extra layer of detail with footnotes, and watch your document transform into a well-referenced masterpiece!