12.10 Creating Footnotes

A footnote is started by a footnote marker in square brackets in column 0, no indentation allowed. It ends at the next footnote definition, headline, or after two consecutive empty lines. The footnote reference is simply the marker in square brackets, inside text. Markers always start with ‘fn:’. For example:

The Org website[fn:1] now looks a lot better than it used to.
[fn:55] The link is: https://orgmode.org

Org mode extends the number-based syntax to named footnotes and optional inline definition. Here are the valid references:


A named footnote reference, where NAME is a unique label word, or, for simplicity of automatic creation, a number.

[fn:: This is the inline definition of this footnote]

An anonymous footnote where the definition is given directly at the reference point.

[fn:NAME: a definition]

An inline definition of a footnote, which also specifies a name for the note. Since Org allows multiple references to the same note, you can then use ‘[fn:NAME]’ to create additional references.

Footnote labels can be created automatically, or you can create names yourself. This is handled by the variable org-footnote-auto-label and its corresponding ‘STARTUP’ keywords. See the docstring of that variable for details.

The following command handles footnotes:

C-c C-x f

The footnote action command.

When point is on a footnote reference, jump to the definition. When it is at a definition, jump to the—first—reference.

Otherwise, create a new footnote. Depending on the variable org-footnote-define-inline120, the definition is placed right into the text as part of the reference, or separately into the location determined by the variable org-footnote-section.

When this command is called with a prefix argument, a menu of additional options is offered:

sSort the footnote definitions by reference sequence.
rRenumber the simple ‘fn:N’ footnotes.
SShort for first r, then s action.
nRename all footnotes into a ‘fn:1’ … ‘fn:n’ sequence.
dDelete the footnote at point, including definition and references.

Depending on the variable org-footnote-auto-adjust121, renumbering and sorting footnotes can be automatic after each insertion or deletion.

C-c C-c

If point is on a footnote reference, jump to the definition. If it is at the definition, jump back to the reference. When called at a footnote location with a prefix argument, offer the same menu as C-c C-x f.

C-c C-o or mouse-1/2

Footnote labels are also links to the corresponding definition or reference, and you can use the usual commands to follow these links.



The corresponding in-buffer setting is: ‘#+STARTUP: fninline’ or ‘#+STARTUP: nofninline’.


The corresponding in-buffer options are ‘#+STARTUP: fnadjust’ and ‘#+STARTUP: nofnadjust’.