Footnotes are used in many kinds of documents. In some documents you may actually need footnotes within footnotes, (i.e., a footnote within a footnote) so that a footnote can be footnoted, using a “sub footnote” that will appear in the regular flow of the main footnotes.
Word is very good at creating footnotes, using either your own footnote marks or the default footnote marks. It does not, however, provide a way to add footnotes within footnotes. If you try to place a new footnote while the insertion point is located within an existing footnote, all Word will do is duplicate the footnote mark at the beginning of the existing footnote. If you select that footnote mark, copy it, and paste it into the footnote at the place you want, you still are not able to enter any new footnote text.
The only thing you can do is to try to outsmart the footnotes (i.e., format your own footnote mark), by clicking Enter at the end of your existing footnote, and creating a corresponding footnote reference at the start of the new line, and then entering text for your forced footnote.
The only drawback to this method is that it wreaks havoc with automatic footnote numbering. Your forced footnote is not recognized by Word, so the next time you enter a footnote, the numbering will continue from where Word thinks it should continue, instead of where you know it should. There is a way around even this drawback, though. Suppose you would like to create a footnote inside of footnote 1.
Follow the steps below to learn how:
- In the body of your document, create your normal footnote 1.
- In the body of your document, just to the right of the marker for footnote 1, create a new footnote. The marker for this footnote is 2, and it should appear right next to the marker for footnote 1.
- Select the new footnote marker (2) and format it as hidden text.
- In the text for footnote 1 (at the bottom of the page), position your cursor where you would like your forced footnote to appear.
- Display the References tab of your Ribbon.
- In the Captions group, click the Cross-reference tool to display the dialog box.
- In the Reference Type list, select Footnote.
- In the list at the bottom of the Cross-reference dialog box, select footnote 2.
- Click Insert and your cross-reference has been created.
- Within the text for footnote 1, select the cross-reference you just entered and format it the same as all your other footnote markers (superscript, etc.).
You have now created a footnote within a footnote, and your numbering will always be correct. The only thing you need to careful of is that you do not print hidden text with your document. If you do, then your marker for footnote 1 will actually look like 12 (because the hidden marker for footnote 2 is right next to it). You will also want to be certain that you update the fields within your document prior to printing.