How to Create a PowerPoint Footnote

Incorporate citations or references within your presentations

screenshot of a footnote in PowerPoint Online

If you’re citing an external article or other document in your PowerPoint presentation, or if you simply want to clarify or elaborate on a particular item, footnotes can be the perfect solution. Displayed towards the bottom of the slide in question, you can easily insert a footnote in PowerPoint.

The following tutorials are intended for users running PowerPoint for Office 365, PowerPoint 2019, PowerPoint 2016, PowerPoint 2013, and PowerPoint Online.

How to Create a Footnote in PowerPoint for Windows

  1. Open your PowerPoint presentation and navigate to the slide you wish to add a footnote to.

  2. Select the text or image you wish to reference in your footnote and type in a number to the right of it, preferably "1" if it’s the first footnote on the slide, as shown in the accompanying screenshot. You can also use a letter or symbol if you prefer.

    screenshot of the Home ribbon in PowerPoint for Windows
  3. Select the Insert tab, located towards the top of the PowerPoint interface.

    screenshot of the Insert ribbon in PowerPoint for Windows
  4. Select Header & Footer.

  5. The Header & Footer interface should now be visible, overlaying the main PowerPoint window. Select the Slide tab, if it’s not already selected.

    screenshot of the Header and Footer interface in PowerPoint for Windows
  6. Select Footer.

  7. In the Footer edit field, first type the number, letter, or symbol you used in step 2. 

  8. Next, following a space, enter the text you wish to appear in your footnote. 

    screenshot of the Header and Footer interface in PowerPoint for Windows
  9. To display the footer with your footnote text on just the current slide, select Apply. To display this footer on all slides within the current deck, select Apply to All.

  10. Your footnote should now be visible. To display your footnote indicators in the proper superscript format, first select the number, letter, or symbol so it's highlighted.

    screenshot of a highlighted footnote indicator in PowerPoint for Windows
  11. Select Home, located in the upper left-hand corner of the PowerPoint interface. 

  12. Select the diagonal arrow located in the lower right corner of the Font section in PowerPoint’s main toolbar.

    screenshot of the Dialog Box Launcher in PowerPoint for Windows
  13. The Font dialog box should now be visible, overlaying the main PowerPoint window. Select the Font tab, if it’s not already selected. 

    screenshot of the Font settings interface in PowerPoint for Windows
  14. In the Effects section, select Superscript to enable it.

    screenshot of the Font interface in PowerPoint for Windows
  15. Select OK

  16. Your footnote indicator will now be displayed in the proper superscript format. Repeat this as many times as necessary to convert all footnote indicators to the correct size.

    screenshot of a properly formatted footnote in PowerPoint for Windows
  17. To remove a footnote at any point, return to the Header & Footer interface referenced in step 5 and select Footer again to remove the checkmark and disable it. To remove the footnote from the current slide only, select Apply. To remove the footer from all slides, select Apply to All.

How to Create a Footnote in PowerPoint for macOS

  1. Open the slide you want to add a footnote to.

  2. Click the text or image you wish to reference in your footnote and type a number to the right of it, preferably "1" if it’s the first footnote on the slide. You can also use a letter or symbol if you prefer.

    screenshot of the Insert ribbon in PowerPoint for macOS
  3. Click the Insert tab, located towards the top of the PowerPoint interface.

  4. Click Header & Footer.

  5. The Header & Footer interface should now be visible, overlaying the main PowerPoint window. Click the Slide tab, if it’s not already selected.

    screenshot of the Header and Footer interface in PowerPoint for macOS
  6. Click Footer to enable it.

  7. In the Footer edit field, type the number, letter, or symbol you used in step 2. 

    screenshot of the Header and Footer interface in PowerPoint for macOS
  8. Next, following a space, enter the text you wish to appear in your footnote. 

    screenshot of the Header and Footer interface in PowerPoint for macOS
  9. Click Apply to display the footer with your footnote text on just the current slide, or click Apple to All to display this footer on all slides within the current deck.

  10. Your footnote should now be visible. To display your footnote indicators in the proper superscript format, first select the number, letter, or symbol so it's highlighted.

    screenshot of a footnote in PowerPoint for macOS
  11. Click the Home tab, located in the upper left-hand corner of the PowerPoint interface. 

  12. Click the Superscript icon, found in the Font section of the PowerPoint ribbon and represented by a lowercase ‘x’ accompanied by a smaller number 2.

  13. Your footnote indicator will now be displayed in the proper superscript format. Repeat this as many times as necessary to convert all footnote indicators to the correct size.

  14. To remove a footnote at any point, return to the Header & Footer interface referenced in step 5 and click Footer to remove the checkmark and disable it. To remove the footnote from the current slide only, click Apply. To remove the footer from all slides, click Apply to All.

How to Create a Footnote in PowerPoint Online

The process of creating footnotes in PowerPoint Online is significantly different from its Windows and macOS counterparts, partially because the web version doesn't offer the ability to convert numbers, letters, or symbols to superscript.

To start, navigate to the slide where you wish to add a footnote.

  1. Select the Insert tab, located along the top row of the web-based PowerPoint interface. 

    screenshot of the Insert ribbon in PowerPoint Online
  2. Select Text Box.

  3. A new text box should be added to your slide. Replace its placeholder text with a number, preferably "1" if it’s the first footnote on the slide. You can also use a letter or symbol if you prefer.

    screenshot of a new text box in PowerPoint Online
  4. Select this newly-typed character so it's highlighted, then select the Home tab.

  5. Use the Font Size drop-down menu, located in the PowerPoint toolbar, to modify the size of your footnote indicator to a number at least 3 points smaller than its accompanying text. This will give it the appearance of superscript even though it’s technically just a smaller font.

    screenshot of the Font interface in PowerPoint Online
  6. Select and drag the entire text box so the number or symbol is placed directly to the right of the text or image it’s referencing.

    screenshot of a footnote indicator in PowerPoint Online
  7. Repeat steps 1-2 to add another text box to your slide. Substitute its placeholder text with the same number, letter, or symbol used in your footnote indicator, followed by a space and your footnote description.

    screenshot of a footnote in progress in PowerPoint Online
  8. Finally, select and drag this new text box toward the bottom of your slide to a location that appears suitable for a footnote. 

    screenshot of a footnote in PowerPoint Online