How to Do Footnotes in Google Docs: A Step-by-Step Guide

Are you working on a project in Google Docs and need to include footnotes for your references? No worries! It’s actually pretty simple. In just a few steps, you can add footnotes to your document to make it look professional and give credit where it’s due. Ready to learn how? Let’s get started!

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Do Footnotes in Google Docs

Before we dive into the steps, it’s important to know that adding footnotes in Google Docs can help you provide extra information, cite sources, or offer additional context without cluttering the main text. Now, let’s get those footnotes in place!

Step 1: Place your cursor where you want the footnote

Position your cursor at the end of the sentence or phrase where you want to add a footnote.

Knowing exactly where you want your footnote to appear is key. It’s usually best to place it right after the period of the sentence that references the information you’re citing. This way, your readers can easily see where to look for additional details.

Step 2: Click on the ‘Insert’ menu

Go to the top menu bar in Google Docs and click on ‘Insert’.

Once you click on ‘Insert’, a dropdown menu will appear with several options. This is where you’ll find various tools to enhance your document, including the footnote feature.

Step 3: Select ‘Footnote’

From the dropdown menu, choose ‘Footnote’ which is typically near the bottom of the list.

After selecting ‘Footnote’, Google Docs will automatically insert a superscript number at the place of your cursor and create a corresponding footnote at the bottom of the page. Now you’re ready to add your note or citation.

Step 4: Type your footnote content

At the bottom of the page, you’ll see a space where you can type in the information for your footnote.

This is where you can get creative with your content. Whether you’re adding a citation, additional context, or an explanatory note, ensure it’s clear and concise for your readers. Remember, footnotes are there to offer more insight without interrupting the flow of the main text.

Step 5: Format the footnote if necessary

If needed, you can format the text of your footnote just like any other text in Google Docs.

While the default settings for footnotes in Google Docs work well, you might want to make changes to match your document’s style. You can adjust the font, size, and even the line spacing of your footnote to make it look just right.

After you complete these steps, you’ll have a neatly inserted footnote in your document. It’s a simple addition that can make a big difference in the quality and credibility of your work.

Tips for Adding Footnotes in Google Docs

  • Make sure to place footnotes at the end of sentences, after punctuation marks.
  • Keep your footnotes concise to avoid overwhelming your readers with too much information.
  • Use a consistent style for all your footnotes to maintain a professional look.
  • Double-check your footnotes for any spelling or grammatical errors.
  • Consider using a footnote to add a personal comment or explanation that might not fit into the main text.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I automatically number my footnotes in Google Docs?

Yes, Google Docs will automatically number your footnotes in sequential order.

Can footnotes be added to headers or footers in Google Docs?

No, footnotes can only be added to the body of the document.

Is there a limit to how many footnotes I can have in a Google Docs document?

There is no set limit to the number of footnotes you can add, but it’s best to use them sparingly to maintain readability.

Can I use different formatting styles for my footnotes?

Absolutely, footnotes can be formatted just like any other text in Google Docs.

If I delete text with a footnote, what happens to the footnote?

When you delete text with a footnote, the footnote will also be deleted. The remaining footnotes will automatically adjust their numbering.


  1. Place your cursor where you want the footnote.
  2. Click on the ‘Insert’ menu.
  3. Select ‘Footnote’.
  4. Type your footnote content.
  5. Format the footnote if necessary.


Adding footnotes in Google Docs is a piece of cake once you get the hang of it. Whether you’re a student, researcher, or writer, mastering the art of footnotes is a valuable skill that can elevate the quality of your work. With the straightforward process outlined in this article, you’ll be able to include additional information and sources seamlessly within your documents. Remember, the key is to keep your footnotes clear and relevant. Practice makes perfect, so the more you use footnotes, the more comfortable you’ll become with this handy feature. Now, go ahead and give it a try in your next Google Docs project!

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