Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Controlling Footnote Placement.

Controlling Footnote Placement

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 6, 2017)

In Word, footnotes can be placed either at the bottom of a page or at the bottom of the text appearing on the page. While this may not seem to be a big difference, it typically comes into play on the last page of a document. The final page may actually end after only a couple lines, sentences, or paragraphs. If you choose to have footnotes placed at the bottom of the page, a large white area may appear between the text and the first footnote on the page. If, instead, you place them at the bottom of the text, the first footnote will appear right after the final text on the page.

To specify where Word 97 and Word 2000 place footnotes on a page, follow these steps:

  1. Select Footnote from the Insert menu. Word displays the Footnote and Endnote dialog box.
  2. Click on Options. Word displays the Note Options dialog box.
  3. Make sure the All Footnotes tab is selected.
  4. Using the Place At drop-down list, select where you want Word to place your footnotes.
  5. Click on OK.
  6. Click on Close in the Footnote and Endnote dialog box if you don't want to add a footnote at this time; otherwise click on OK.

If you are using a later version of Word, you should follow these steps instead:

  1. Select Reference from the Insert menu and then choose Footnote. Word displays the Footnote and Endnote dialog box.
  2. Make sure the Footnotes radio button is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Footnote and Endnote dialog box.

  4. Using the drop-down list to the right of the Footnotes radio button, select where you want Word to place your footnotes.
  5. Click on Apply to make your change effective.
  6. Click on Cancel if you don't want to add a footnote at this time; otherwise click on Insert.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (516) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Controlling Footnote Placement.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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