Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Viewing Footnotes.

Viewing Footnotes

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated August 13, 2022)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


Word implements a full-featured footnote system that allows you total control over where and how footnotes are printed. If you are viewing your document in Print Layout view, the footnotes appear at the bottom of your document, the same as how they'll print.

If you are viewing your document in Draft view, however, the footnotes are not normally visible. Word opens the footnotes pane at the bottom of the document window whenever you insert a footnote. Most users, when they are through entering the footnote text, close the footnotes window so they will be able to see more of their document at once. If you later want to view the footnotes pane, you can display the References tab of the ribbon and click Show Notes in the Footnotes group. When you click the tool, the footnotes pane is displayed. You can then make changes to footnotes in the window, if you so desire.

To close the footnotes pane, you can either click on the Close button at the top of the footnotes pane, or you can again click the Show Notes tool. You can also double-click on the border between the document window and the footnotes window to close the footnotes pane in Draft view.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9996) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Viewing Footnotes.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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