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MindTouch Success Center

Add footnotes to your pages (MT4)

Written by Benjamin Ratajesak
Customer Success Agent II at MindTouch
This page applies to:MindTouch 4 and MindTouch TCS

A Footnote can be used to present an ancillary piece of information usually at the bottom of a page. The benefits of creating footnotes are that the author can add a note of reference, explanation, or comment without disrupting the structure of the sentence. A footnote immediately connects the reader to the citation or your specific thought, concept, or idea related to that text. After completing this how-to you will have an understanding of footnotes and how to create them from within your MindTouch site.

What is a Footnote?

Footnotes1 can be essential when trying to relay additional information to a user. Most readers will review the footnotes after they read the text from where the footnotes are anchored​2 to more fully understand the content. 

Creating a Footnote

First, you will need to identify the text that you wish to add some additional information or a citation to. After the text is identified, you will want to add the number of the footnote. From there, you will want to highlight the number and select the Superscript button in the editor:


Next, you will want to create the reference for the footnote somewhere at the bottom of the page or content. In the example above, the footnote reference at the bottom is separated with a horizontal line to create a page break between the content and the footnotes. This can be achieved with the Page Break button in the editor:

When creating the reference, make sure to reference the original number of the footnote​3.

Advanced Footnote Creation

Once you have completed the steps above you can create links between the footnotes and the reference so the reader can jump directly to the bottom of the page where the information is found (Note:you should have some experience with HTML when following the following steps). It is recommended that you first review creating an anchor in your text.

Creating Links to the Reference Content

First, select the reference number and click on the Link button. Delete the content in the Link to: input box and click the Update Link button. You have now created a blank link. Now you will need to enter source mode and update the link'shrefproperty and add anid.

The final link should look like the following in source mode:

<a href="#fn1" id="rf1" title=""><sup>1</sup></a>

You will notice in the href property used here for the link with the # sign. That tells the browser that you want to link to the content on the page with theidof fn1( 'fn1'  stands for footnote 1, but you can customize the text to make it unique to your nomenclature)." Theid is also made use of when linking the footnote to reference back to the original source.

Linking Back to the Original Source

When creating links back to the original source you will want to give the users some visual marker that there is a link back to the original source of the footnote. This will help with user adoption.  The character(highlighted  below) is this visual representation or the html char code&crarr;you could also use just a simple return. Following the steps above for creating links to the reference content, you will want to select what ever visual marker you are using to indicate the link back to the source, and click the link button. Delete the content in the Link to input box and click the Update Link button. Once again enter the source mode and the link'shrefproperty and add anidagain.The link should look like the following:

<a href="#rf1" id="fn1" title="">↵</a>

This time thehrefproperty references theidof the original link preceded by a#sign and the id is the same we used above omitting the#sign.

1. A footnote is a note placed at the bottom of a page that it is on or cites a reference for a designated part of the text. 

2. Often, the most interesting information is found in the footnotes. 

3. That is all it takes to create a footnote. 

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