How to Create and Reference Footnotes in LaTeX with Commands and Examples

How to Create and Reference Footnotes in LaTeX with Commands and Examples

Document footnotes offer readers extra information about the topic or section being discussed. They usually contain non-essential information that can be added to the bottom of the page. Hence the name “foot”-note. 

Adding footnotes in LaTeX is a straightforward process that also includes many different options. Let’s examine how to add footnotes in LaTeX and have your document looking professional quickly.



Adding a Simple Footnote

You can add simple footnotes in LaTeX using the command \footnote{your footnote text}. An example of this command in action is shown below:

Adding footnotes to LaTeX is incredibly easy.\footnote{This is a footnote.}

When compiled, the output should resemble:

As you can see, LaTeX adds the footnote to the bottom of the page automatically after using the \footnote command. It also numbers the footnote so that it can be matched easily.

Note that we did not leave any space between the text and the footnote command in the code above. This is because footnotes in LaTeX would process the space and compile it with an unintended format, so it is best to leave it out.

Custom Numbering Your Footnotes

In the above example we can see that footnotes in LaTeX are numbered automatically. However, it is possible to use your own numbering as demonstrated in the following example: 

This is an example of a custom number for your\footnote[10]{custom numbered footnote} LaTeX footnotes. Here is another footnote\footnotemark that is automatically numbered. 

\footnotetext{Second footnote} 

When compiled, the output resembles:

In the above example, we used the code \footnote[10]{custom numbered footnote} to set the footnote number as “10” along with the footnote text “custom numbered footnote”. Such a command isn’t usually necessary as LaTeX automatically takes care of numbering footnotes. It should only be used in rare cases where you absolutely must represent a footnote number out of order.

We also used the command \footnotemark to denote the position of footnotes in LaTeX, but without the footnote text itself. This is useful for adding the footnote text in a later line. We accomplished this with the command \footnotetext{Second footnote}.

Related Content for Latex:

Adding Footnotes with Multiple References

It is also possible to add footnotes in LaTeX that are referenced multiple times in the text. This can be useful when you want to call-back to a particular footnote at different points in your text. We demonstrate this in the following example:

This example demonstrates how you can reference a footnote\footnote{this is the first footnote} multiple times in LaTeX. It is possible to write a footnote\footnotemark within its own line. 

\footnotetext{Second footnote}

In this sentence\footnotemark we will be referencing the same footnote twice\footnotemark[\value{footnote}]

\footnotetext{This is the footnote with two references}

When compiled, the output resembles:

  In the above example, we used the command \footnotemark[\value{footnote}] to insert the superscript that corresponds to the value of the previously mentioned footnote.

Changing the Footnote Numbering Style

You can change the numbering style for the footnotes in LaTeX you are using. You can do this using the command \renewcommand{\thefootnote}{\roman{footnote}} where roman can be swapped out with other footnote types. These footnote styles and their corresponding codes are shown below:

  • arabic: For footnotes in arabic numerals.
  • Roman: For footnotes in upper case Roman numerals.
  • alph: For footnotes in lower case alphabets.
  • Alph: For footnotes in upper case alphabets.
  • fnsymbol: For adding footnotes using a set of nine symbols.

An example of converting footnotes into roman numerals is shown below:

This example demonstrates how you can reference a footnote\footnote{this is the first footnote} multiple times in LaTeX. It is possible to write a footnote\footnotemark within its own line. 

\footnotetext{Second footnote}

In this sentence\footnotemark we will be referencing the same footnote twice\footnotemark[\value{footnote}]

\footnotetext{This is the footnote with two references}

\renewcommand{\thefootnote}{\roman{footnote}}

This is a footnote with Roman numerals\footnote{This is the footnote that is with Roman numerals}

When compiled, the output resembles the following:

Adding a Footnote With a Symbol in LaTeX

Earlier we mentioned that you can add footnotes in LaTeX using a set of nine symbols using the command \fnsymbol

An example of the code for this is shown below:

\usepackage[symbol]{footmisc}

\renewcommand{\thefootnote}{\fnsymbol{footnote}}

\footnote[1]{text}

The above example we changed the footnote number to an asterix by mentioning “1” in the code. The full list of symbols and their corresponding number codes is shown below:

  • 1 asterisk *
  • 2 dagger †
  • 3 double dagger ‡
  • 4 section symbol §
  • 5 paragraph ¶
  • 6 parallel lines ‖
  • 7 two asterisks **
  • 8 two daggers ††
  • 9 two double daggers ‡‡

Final Thoughts

As you can see, LaTeX makes it incredibly easy to add footnotes to documents. You can also change the numbers and how many times the references appear by tweaking the code slightly. So remember to try footnotes in your next document if you want to present your readers with a bit of extra information in a neat manner.

Frequently Asked Questions

Some frequently asked questions about footnotes in LaTeX are shown below:

Q1. How Do You Add Footnotes in LaTeX?

You can add footnotes in LaTeX using the command \footnote{your footnote text}. This footnote is also automatically numbered.

Q2. How Do I Use the Same Footnote Twice?

You can reference the same footnote twice using the command \footnotemark for the first time and \footnotemark[\value{footnote}] to reference it the second time.

Q3. Can I Add LaTeX Footnote Without a Number?

You can add LaTeX footnotes without numbers using the following command: \let\thefootnote\relax\footnote{Your Footnote Without Numbering}

Q4. How Do I Insert Footnote With an Asterisk?

You can insert a footnote using an asterisk symbol using the following code:
\usepackage[symbol]{footmisc}
\renewcommand{\thefootnote}{\fnsymbol{footnote}}
\footnote[1]{text}  

Q5. How to Make Multiple References Using the Same Footnote?

You can reference the same footnote multiple times by first using the command \footnotemark for the first reference, and then\footnotemark[\value{footnote}] to reference it a second time.


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Joannah W.
Joannah has been a science publisher with close to 20 years of experience. She wants to help students and researchers stay ahead of the trends and developments in the science community by making science more accessible to everyone.

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