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2.10 Footnotes

Org mode supports the creation of footnotes. In contrast to the footnote.el package, Org mode’s footnotes are designed for work on a larger document, not only for one-off documents like emails.

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. For example:

The Org homepage[fn:1] now looks a lot better than it used to.
[fn:1] The link is:

Org mode extends the number-based syntax to named footnotes and optional inline definition. Using plain numbers as markers (as footnote.el does) is supported for backward compatibility, but not encouraged because of possible conflicts with LaTeX snippets (see Embedded LaTeX). Here are the valid references:


A plain numeric footnote marker. Compatible with footnote.el, but not recommended because something like ‘[1]’ could easily be part of a code snippet.


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]

A LaTeX-like 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 the cursor 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 option org-footnote-define-inline24, the definition will be placed right into the text as part of the reference, or separately into the location determined by the option org-footnote-section.

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

s   Sort the footnote definitions by reference sequence.  During editing,
    Org makes no effort to sort footnote definitions into a particular
    sequence.  If you want them sorted, use this command, which will
    also move entries according to org-footnote-section.  Automatic
    sorting after each insertion/deletion can be configured using the
    option org-footnote-auto-adjust.
r   Renumber the simple fn:N footnotes.  Automatic renumbering
    after each insertion/deletion can be configured using the option
S   Short for first r, then s action.
n   Normalize the footnotes by collecting all definitions (including
    inline definitions) into a special section, and then numbering them
    in sequence.  The references will then also be numbers.  This is
    meant to be the final step before finishing a document (e.g., sending
    off an email).
d   Delete the footnote at point, and all definitions of and references
    to it.

Depending on the variable org-footnote-auto-adjust25, renumbering and sorting footnotes can be automatic after each insertion or deletion.

C-c C-c

If the cursor is on a footnote reference, jump to the definition. If it is a 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/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 fnadjust and nofnadjust.

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