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: Inserting Footnotes Using Custom Footnote Marks.

Inserting Footnotes Using Custom Footnote Marks

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated September 4, 2019)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


Footnotes are used to provide printed annotations or references for a document. Word makes it very easy to insert automatic footnotes in your documents. What if you want to insert a custom footnote, however? Fortunately it is just as easy:

  1. Position the insertion point where you want the custom footnote mark located.
  2. Choose Footnote from the Insert menu. You will see the Footnote and Endnote dialog box.
  3. Choose the Custom Mark radio button.
  4. In the box to the right of Custom Mark, enter the character (or characters) you want used for the custom footnote mark. If you want a special symbol in the footnote mark, click on Symbol and select the one you want.
  5. Click on OK. Your custom footnote mark appears in your document. If you are in Normal view, the Footnotes window is displayed at the bottom of the document window. If you are in Print Layout view, the insertion point moves to the bottom of the page where the footnote will appear.
  6. Enter your footnote, formatting it as you would any other text in your document.
  7. If the Footnotes window is visible, click on Close at the top of the Footnotes window.

The steps are slightly different if you are using Word 2003:

  1. Position the insertion point where you want the custom footnote mark located.
  2. Choose Reference from the Insert menu, then choose Footnote from the resulting submenu. You will see the Footnote and Endnote dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Footnote and Endnote dialog box

  4. In the Custom Mark box, enter the character (or characters) you want used for the custom footnote mark. If you want a special symbol in the footnote mark, click on Symbol and select the one you want.
  5. Click on OK. Your custom footnote mark appears in your document. If you are in Normal view, the Footnotes window is displayed at the bottom of the document window. If you are in Print Layout view, the insertion point moves to the bottom of the page where the footnote will appear.
  6. Enter your footnote, formatting it as you would any other text in your document.
  7. If the Footnotes window is visible, click on Close at the top of the Footnotes window.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (541) 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: Inserting Footnotes Using Custom Footnote Marks.

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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