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How to Add Simple and Elegant Footnotes in Your WordPress Blog Posts

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How to Add Simple and Elegant Footnotes in Your WordPress Blog Posts

We have never considered ourselves a journalist nor do we have any professional experience in writing. We are just a group of WordPress fanatics who love sharing what we know. However, if you are a journalist or someone who fancies professional writing, then you probably have found yourself in a need for the ability to add footnotes to your WordPress posts. Recently, we received a question from an aspiring new writer and WordPress user asking us if there was a way to add footnotes in WordPress blog posts. Well as we say it, “There’s a plugin for that”. In this article, we will show you how to create simple and elegant footnotes in your WordPress blog posts.

First thing you need to do is install and activate the plugin called Simple Footnotes.

Once you have activated simply go to your Post Edit screen, and use the shortcode [ref] where you want to enter the footnotes. An example usage would be:

Your Sentence will go here. [ref]Your Footnote[/ref]

The end result for this would look something like this:

Simple Footnotes Example

Just like footnotes work in any other software (Word, Pages etc), in WordPress it will automatically increment the count. All notes will be automatically added at the bottom of your post.

If you have split your WordPress posts in multiple pages, then you can optionally move your footnotes below your page links or leave it to appear below content (like normal). You can do this by going to Settings » Reading. It is important to note that footnotes will appear as normal for posts that are unpaginated.

Get Simple Footnotes


Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress lovers led by Syed Balkhi. Page maintained by Syed Balkhi.

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  • David

    Hey, forgive my ignorance, but I can’t figure out how to activate this, or any other plugin. What am I missing?

  • Hank

    I added the plugin and tried some footnotes. When I click on the little number that should link to the footnote, it takes me below the comment box on the WordPress page and doesn’t display the footnote. I have to scroll up to see the footnote.

    Does anyone know how I can get it to land on the actual footnote?

    • http://www.wpbeginner.com Editorial Staff

      It sounds like a CSS issue in your theme which causing this.

      • Hank DeBey

        I had some remnants of earlier footnote attempts in the code. I removed those and things are better. Thanks for your help.

    • Evan Lowry

      Does it still do this when you view the page when you are signed out of the Dashboard? For me, when the dashboard menu is up top (when I am signed in), it makes it appear that the FN links are taking me too low–but then when I view the same page logged out, as a reader would, the FNs work properly.

  • Evan Lowry

    This is a great plugin, but in the version I downloaded for 3.5.1, the footnotes reset after ten, back to zero, in the footer. Does anyone know how to fix this? I just want it to continue: 11, 12, etc…

    • http://www.wpbeginner.com Editorial Staff

      Did you try contacting the author?

  • Kiesha Michelle

    Thanks for this!! I was trying to figure out how to add footnotes…. :)

  • http://fatihtoprak.com/ fatihtoprak

    Great plugin thanks for that.

  • http://www.lighthousememories.ca/ retlkpr

    Now that is one I did not know about. Thanks!  It works great.