How To Add Footnotes To a Google Doc

Footnotes in Google Docs are a great way to add comments, cite references, or even provide a link to sources in your text in an unobtrusive way. They’re better than inserting a superscript notation or an explanation in the footer because they let you include additional information in an unobtrusive way.

How To Add Footnotes To a Google Doc

But how do you add footnotes in Google Docs on different devices? Read on to learn about adding footnotes in Google Docs and other tips like how to remove or export them.

How to Add Footnotes in Google Docs on a PC

You can add footnotes to your Google Doc with a few clicks by following these steps on your desktop:

  1. Open your document in the Google Docs browser app.
  2. Find the spot in your text where you want to add your footnote and place your cursor there.
  3. Click “Insert” in the top menu. If you can’t see the menu, press the downward-pointing arrow icon in the top right corner of your screen.
  4. In the dropdown menu, find “Footnote.” This will place a superscript number in your text and you can start typing your footnote.

Another way to add a footnote is by using a shortcut.

  1. Place your cursor in the desired spot in the text.
  2. Press your Ctrl, Alt, and F keys on Windows or your Command, Option, and F keys on Mac, all at the same time.
  3. Type in your footnote.

How to Add Footnotes in Google Docs on an iPad

You can also manage your footnotes in Google Docs on your iPad.

  1. Launch the Google Docs iOS app and select your document.

  2. Enable editing with the pencil icon.
  3. Place your cursor where you want to add a footnote.
  4. Tap the “+” icon in the top right corner, and then choose “Footnote.”
  5. You can type in your footnote now.

How to Add Footnotes in Google Docs on an iPhone

Adding a footnote to a Google Doc on iPhone is a similar process:

  1. Open the Google Docs iOS app and then the document you want.
  2. Tap the pencil icon and place your cursor where your footnote will be.
  3. Find the “+” sign at the top and then press “Footnote.”

  4. Type in your footnote.

How to Add Footnotes in Google Docs on an Android Device

To add a footnote to your document in the Android app, follow these steps:

  1. Launch your Google Docs Android app and open your document.

  2. Press the pencil icon in the bottom right corner to start editing.
  3. Place your cursor in the appropriate spot.
  4. Tap the “+” sign in the top toolbar. If you can’t see the toolbar, scroll up in your document and it will appear.
  5. Choose “Footnote” in the popup menu. Your document will switch to Print Layout.
  6. Start typing your footnote.

You won’t be able to see your footnotes when you turn off Print Layout, but the document will retain them nevertheless.

Additional FAQs

How do I remove footnotes in Google Docs?

If you want to delete a footnote, pressing backspace at the bottom of the page won’t do the trick. Instead of deleting the added note, you’ll need to find the footnote number in the body text and delete it from there. This will automatically remove its corresponding note at the bottom of the page.

How do I export a document with footnotes?

You don’t have to take any extra steps to export your document with your footnotes. If you created the footnotes in your document in one of the above-described ways, your document will retain them when you export it. Export your document in the following way:

1. Click “File” in the menu bar.

2. Hover over “Download” and select your document type, e.g. DOCX.

3. Open the downloaded document. You will see your footnotes appropriately displayed at the bottom of the page.

How do I view footnotes in the mobile app?

The Google Docs mobile app doesn’t display footnotes by default. To see the footnotes in your document, you will need to switch to Print Layout in your app. Note: You also won’t see any footnotes if your document is “Pageless.” Change this setting by clicking “File” and “Page Setup” on a PC or the three vertical dots and “Page Setup” on a mobile device.

Why can’t I use superscript to add my footnotes?

While a footnote and a superscript may look identical in Google Docs, they have fundamental differences. For instance, footnote numbers will automatically shift when you add a new one earlier in the document, keeping your document organized. Moving parts of the document won’t be an issue either.

The difference between a footnote and a superscript will also be apparent when you download the document. Hovering your cursor over footnote superscripts will display their corresponding note, as opposed to regular superscript numbers.

How do I add endnotes in Google Docs?

If you want to display your footnotes at the end of the document instead of their respective page, you can use endnotes. Google Docs also offers endnotes, but you will need to add an extension first. You can download the Endnote Generator tool by clicking the “Extensions” tab in your menu bar and then choosing “Get add-ons.” Once installed, you just need to run the Endnote Generator to gather all your notes at the end of the document.

Enhance Your Documents With Footnotes

Sources and references are often key parts of a document. The footnote feature in Google Docs allows you to insert them easily, whether you’re typing on your desktop, iPad, or mobile device. Add notes to improve the reliability of your writing or provide additional information to your readers.

On which platform do you use Google Docs? How easy do you find adding footnotes on that platform? Tell us about your experience in the comments section below.

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