How to add a footnote in PowerPoint


Footnotes are notes or annotations placed at the bottom of a slide or document, used to reference parts of the main text (generally using superscript numbers). For example, footnotes can be used to acknowledge a source reference material or author.

PowerPoint lets you add footnotes via the Insert tab on the ribbon, using the Header & Footer menu. However, depending on the layout of your PowerPoint Slide Master, these may not appear in the most logical location on your slide (relative to the reference material in the body of your slide).

To solve this - PPT Productivity make it easy to add custom footnotes to slides with a Superscript tool. You can even save your preferred footnote style to the Slide Library for easy reuse.

Read on for an overview of how to add footnotes to PowerPoint and how to convert footnote references to superscript and how to save footnotes for easy reuse if you use PPT Productivity's Slide Library.

How do I create custom footnotes in PowerPoint?

First, add your citation or reference. In the body of the text add the numbers next to the word or phrase you will refer to in the footnote.

Here's an example of a slide with some text and 3 items numbered that I want to refer to in my footnote

Number items in the body text that you will reference in your PowerPoint Footnote

Next, convert the numbers to superscript. To convert numbers to Superscript in PowerPoint, select the number then use the Superscript feature on the PPT Productivity top ribbon to change the font from standard font to superscript font. Or you can use the PPT Productivity Keyboard shortcut for Superscript Ctrl + . to convert the text to superscript.

How to add PowerPoint footnotes to slides

Continue to convert all the numbers related to the footnote to superscript using the same method

How to convert text to Superscript in PowerPoint

Now that you have the superscript added to the text, the next step is to add your footnotes. Of course you can also add addition references later, but I generally find it's easier to add the references once I have the text finalized.

To add the Footnote to the slide, first create a text box in the location you want the footnote to appear in the slide. I like to use my No Fly Zone as a guide to the placement of the footnote text box, so I can line it up precisely. Alternatively you can insert the Footnote template we included in the Text Elements downloadable gallery of the PPT Productivity Slide Library.

Insert a textbox to add your footnotes in PowerPoint

You will likely want the text in your footnotes to be smaller than than the text in the main body of your slide. Reduce the text size and start typing your footnotes. Tip - use the decrease text size button on the PPT Productivity ribbon to quickly reduce the size of text in a couple of clicks, or use the keyboard shortcuts to decrease font size which is Ctrl + Shift + <

Decrease font size in PowerPoint

Here's my slide with footnotes added.

How can I use PowerPoint footnotes

If you have a lot of information to add in your footnotes, you may wish to format them in continual lines rather then putting each footnote on a separate line.

How can I save and reuse footnotes in PowerPoint?

Now that you have set up your PowerPoint footnote, you can save the style ready to easily insert into your future presentations. Or you can also use the Footnote template we included in the Text Elements downloadable gallery for the PPT Productivity Slide Library).

To save a footnote style to your Slide Library, select the Footnote text box. (Note that before saving to your Slide Library, you may want to remove the existing text and replace it with "XXX" or "Text placeholder" so that you know to edit the text when you insert into different slides.)

Hit 'Save Shape' at the bottom of the Slide Library panel.

How can I reuse footnotes in PowerPoint?

The Save Shape dialogue box will appear. Here you can give the footnote a name and select how you want the icon to look in the Slide Library panel. The Zoom thumbnail option gives a good preview of the footnote in the Slide Library.

How do I find PowerPoint Footnotes?

Click OK. Your footnote will now appear in your Slide Library.

If you want your whole team to use the same format of footnote, add the footnote to your Team slide library. Learn more about how a Team Slide Library can help your organization be on brand and more productive on our Slide Library for Teams page.

To reuse on any slide and in any presentation, simply click on the footnote thumbnail in the Slide Library, and the footnote will be pasted directly onto your slide in the same format and at the same position as the original footnote. Then you can simply update the content according to your current slides requirements.

Want to create polished presentations faster? With PPT Productivity, boost your team's productivity with faster formatting, easier editing, collaboration tools and more! If you're not yet using PPT Productivity, download our free 30 day trial today. We offer free one-on-one training and flexible licensing to suit individuals, teams or enterprise.
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