Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Trouble with Footnotes in Pages?


A reader has complained about footnotes in Pages. They jump around, especially when long, and drive the man crazy.

I don’t use footnotes much, but have just tried putting a few in a text of mine. 

Pages lets you add footnotes and endnotes. 

- Click in the body of text after the word where the footnote is to be placed.
- Go to Insert menu and slide down to Footnote.
- A small number will appear perched above and to the write of the word and a numbered footnote will appear at the bottom of the page.


What seems to be happening is that, as you add them, footnotes push the main text on the page up and the overflow goes on the next page. If the part of text to which the footnote refers is pushed over onto the next page, the footnote automatically jumps to that page too. 

The numbering stays continuous or changes to restart on each page, as you set it in Document Inspector. You can also change numbered footnotes to less frequently used stars, or Roman numericals, or Greek letters. 

You shouldn’t have much trouble with footnotes in Pages. At least not more than you’d have with using footnotes anyway.


Footnotes are an attribute of academic writing, where every statement or argument you make needs referencing, i.e. an attribution or an indication of an authoritative source. You may see footnotes in encyclopedia articles and legal documents. Sometimes, when a word, a phrase or a section is in a foreign language, you may put the translation in a footnote. Footnotes may also include hyperlinks taking you to a relevant internet page. 

Footnotes are usually placed at the bottom of the page. Sometimes, in order not to distract the reader or when the commentary in footnotes is long, they are grouped together at the end of the document/article/book, or at the end of the chapter (section). In this case they are called endnotes.

See also 'How to subtract footnotes and endnotes from the word count'.

Read more in my new book 'iWork for Mac OSX Cookbook' (2012). Follow me on Twitter at iworkinpages, like my page I Work in Pages on Facebook and add me to your circles on Google+.

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