How to Use Footnotes and Citations in Google Docs – Detailed Guide


Google Docs is an excellent application for writing and editing your documents. It allows you to create documents, edit .doc and Microsoft Word files, create banners, reports, newsletters, and whatnot! Every writer knows the importance of using footnotes in their articles. Adding them not only enhances the quality of your article but also gives it a more professional look.

Footnotes are a great way to provide the user with useful context, page numbers, cite references, add interesting comments or facts (which are not directly related to your article), etc. Moreover, footnotes are almost always necessary when you are working on an academic article or research paper. 

If you use Google Docs for writing and editing your written content and wonder how to add footnotes to your documents, you have reached just the right place! Adding footers in Google Docs is a fairly simple task, and we will show you how to do it. 

In this article, we will explain:

  • how you can create footnotes in Google Docs
  • how you can do Chicago-style footnotes
  • how do you reuse a footnote in Google Docs

We will be explaining all this in an easy step-by-step method. So by the time you finish reading this entire piece, you will be able to create footnotes like a pro!

Before we get started with the tutorial, if you are looking to learn more about apps like Notion, Todoist, Evernote, Google Docs, or just how to be more productive (like Keep Productive’s awesome Notion course), you should really check out SkillShare. Skillshare is an online learning platform with courses on pretty much anything you want to learn. To learn more about Skillshare and its vast library of courses and get 30% off, click the link below:

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Now let’s get started with the tutorial!

So, let’s get started! 

Steps to Add a Footnote in Google Docs

Enclosed below are the list of steps to add a footnote in Google Docs:

  1. Open the Google Doc in which you want to add the footnote
  2. Move the cursor to where you want to add the footnote (automatically adds notation in correct spot)
  3. Go to Toolbar->Insert and select Footnote
  4. In the Footnote space, type in your footnote

Detailed Steps for Adding a Footnote in Google Docs

Step 1: Open the Google document in which you want to add the footnotes.

a document in Google Docs

Go to Google Docs. Open the document you want to add footnotes to.

Step 2: Take the cursor to where you want to add a footnote in the document. This will automatically add the notation at the correct spot. 

Cursor placed where I want to add footnote in Google Docs

Move your cursor to the spot where you want to note your footnote.

Step 3: Go to the Main Menu at the top of your document and click “Insert.” When you do this, a drop-down menu will appear. From that menu, click on “Footnote.” 

Choosing the “Footnote” option in Google Docs

Next, navigate to the main menu at the top of the Google Docs window. Go to Insert -> Footnote to add the footnote to the bottom of the Google Docs page.

Footnote in Google Docs

After you follow the third step, a superscript number will automatically appear on the point where you placed the cursor. Moreover, a numbered footnote will also appear at the bottom of the page. 

Step 4: Go to the space provided for the footnote and type it there. You can also format the footnote in the citation style of your liking. 

A complete footnote in Google Docs

You can also format the footnote in the citation style of your liking. And it’s done! You have just created a footnote in your Google Docs.

How to Make the Footer Different on Each Page of the Google Docs

While adding a footnote in your document is a pretty easy task, you will need some tricks to make a footer different on each Google Docs page. This is because Google Docs doesn’t allow the users to use different footers on different pages of the document directly. 

But don’t worry! We have got you covered. You can make a footer different on each page of Google Docs by using section breaks. 

So, how do you do it? Enclosed below are the steps required to make the footer difference on each page of Google Docs:

  1. Open the Google Docs document to the page where you want to have a different footer.
  2. Put the cursor at the end of the last sentence of the previous page.
  3. Click on Insert -> Break-> Section break (next page).
  4. The cursor will automatically move to the next page, where a section break line will be added. 
  5. Add your footer content
  6. Repeat the same steps for all the pages you want to add a different footer. 

Detailed Steps for Different Footers on each Page of Google Docs

Google Docs Document

Step 1: Open the Google Docs document to the page where you want to have a different footer.

Put Cursor at end of previous page in Google Docs

Step 2: Now, put the cursor at the end of the last sentence of the previous page. Remember, you have to put the cursor at the end of the previous page, not the current one.

Adding a section break to a page in Google Docs

Step 3: When you’re at the end of the previous page, click on Insert -> Break -> Section break (next page).

Page break added to page in Google Docs

Step 4: As soon as you follow step 3, the cursor will automatically move to the next page, where a section break line will be added. Double click at bottom of page to see footer section.

Uncheck “Link to previous” checkbox

All you need to do is scroll down to the footer area on the same page and uncheck the “Link to previous” option. 

Different footer added to Google Docs

Step 5: Add your footer content, and it’s done! If you scroll up, you will find that this footer is different from the above pages.

Step 6: Repeat the same steps for all the pages you want to add a different footer. 

How to Create Chicago Style Citations on Google Docs

Chicago is a popular citation style that is often used in research papers and reports. Doing Chicago-style citations on your Google Docs document is an easy task. You can do it in less than a minute. 

Follow these super-simple steps to learn how to add Chicago-style footnotes from the web to Google Docs. 

  1. Place cursor where you want footnote indicator to appear 
  2. Go to Tools in the main menu and select Citations
  3. The Citations menu will appear on the right. Select Chicago-Author-Date from the drop-down menu
  4. Click + Add citation source
  5. Select Source type for drop-down menu
  6. Fill in information for footnote/citation and click Add citation source
  7. Click the Cite button to add to document in Google Docs
  8. Your citation should appear in your Google Doc in Chicago citation style

Step 1: Place cursor where you want footnote indicator to appear

Step 2: Go to Tools in the main menu and select Citations

Select Chicago-Author-Date citation format

Step 3: The Citations menu will appear on the right. Select Chicago-Author-Date from the drop-down menu

Click + Add citation source button

Step 4: Click + Add citation source button.

Step 5: Select Source type for drop-down menu

Adding reference information in Chicago style format in Google Docs

Step 6: Fill in information for footnote/citation and click Add citation source button.

Click Cite button to add Chicago Style citation to Google Doc

Step 7: Click the Cite button to add to document in Google Docs

Chicago style citation in Google Docs

Step 8: Your citation should appear in your Google Doc in Chicago citation style

How to Reuse Footnotes in Google Docs

You can reuse the same footnote multiple times around your document by using the copy-paste trick. 

Here are the steps for it: 

Select the word containing the footnote reference

Step 1: Select a word that the footnote you want refers to, along with the word that follows it.

Copy the word containing the footnote reference

Step 2: Copy both the words. 

Your footnote is automatically added

Step 3: Paste them anywhere in your document. The footnote reference will automatically get added at the bottom of the document. 

Step 4: This will allow you to reuse the footnote (as many times as you need) while the original one will remain the same. Google Docs will automatically adjust the footnote number accordingly. 

Conclusion 

So there you go! You now know multiple ways to use footnotes in your Google Docs. So what are you waiting for? Go ahead, follow these steps, and create footnotes in your documents. 

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