Publishing Software For Mac Footnotes

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I start with a quote from Robert Bringhurst in his The Elements of Typographic Style1

…the academic habit of relegating notes to the foot of the page or the end of the book is a mirror of Victorian social and domestic practice, in which the kitchen was kept out of sight and the servants were kept below stairs. If the notes are permitted to move around in the margins as they were in Renaissance books they can be present where needed and at the same time enrich the life of the page.

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In The Elements of Typographic Style, the notes are held in the side margins thus putting the information near and even alongside the reference in the text. Robert Bringhurst doesn’t need to bother with those little superscript numbers because the supplementary information is very much nearby for the reader.

Still, tradition dictates that in some books, there are footnotes and some there are endnotes (either at the end of the chapter or the end of the book). Putting notes in the side margins is nice if you can afford the space. Let’s face it, book design and usability does not often win-out over commercial considerations. Robert Bringhurst’s book is exceptional and it is a beautiful thing. Lots of space for the text to breath.

How I dislike some books that give me less than a centimetre of margin.


These need to be separated from the main body of the text, and are best set with a smaller size and possibly event a different typeface and colour. The idea of any notes is that it is supplementary information and it is entirely optional that the reader even bothers to look, so setting in a style that does not distract from the flow of the readingexperience is important.

Footnotes are best numbered with an outdented figure, although (fortechnical reasons) the numbers are most often aligned to the main text block. These numbers refer to the superscript number within the text itself. Most publishers will favour the numbers to begin again for each chapter, otherwise the numbers could get unwieldy (superscript numbers of more than two digits could look ugly). If there are very few references in the text, symbols can be used instead of numbers (* or †, ‡, §, ‖,¶).

The listed footnotes will look best when separated from the main body with a partial line; giving the reader a strong clue that these notes are not following on from the text above. Where footnotes are long, they can be split across more than one page, although this will compromise the usability somewhat.


Notes are often placed at the end of the chapter or even at the end of the book (before the index). This approach means that the reader will need to ‘hunt down’ the note referred to in the text.

This usually means that the endnotes will be organised by chapter or section.

The advantage of endnotes over footnotes is that the page composition in the vertical plane is not compromised for the sake of the note space.

Where there are lots of references in the text, this must be the best approach.

Ridiculous as this seems, we have seen books with footnotes that take more page space than the main text itself!

Sidenotes (sometimes called Margin Notes)

Clearly the page layout needs to provide the space in the margins for this to be an option. Unless this is a large-format book, the measure of the notes (width of the text), is likely to be narrow, so don’t design for this option if the notes are long or there are lots of them and, the book is small.2

Sidenotes fall outside the text block unlike footnotes that will be inside the text block.

Sidenotes do not necessarily need superscript numbers within the text (and they themselves do not need to be numbered), if it is obvious what the sidenote refers to.

Footnotes with InDesign

InDesign will help us build footnotes and the software will evenimport the footnotes from Microsoft Word. InDesign users get their veryown configuration panel seen in the image alongside here. In this we canset the way the references are displayed in the text (superscript etc),and how the footnotes appear at the bottom of the page. We need aparagraph style set up for the display of the footnotes themselves andwe can (optionally), use a character style for the reference figure inthe text.

As you can see from the first example spread the footnote list figure isaligned to the left edge of the text box. You will often see this in thebooks on your shelves, however, a more attractive arrangement is to‘outdent’ these listed figures so that the footnotes are are aligned tothe text and the number figures are offset from this text box.

InDesign does not provide the means to set footnotes outside thetext box, so we need to plan for this by indenting all of the textinside the text box by an amount that we then remove from the leftmargins. This way we can outdent the footnote numbers. You will see fromthe image provided here that we are using guides to make sure that theseitems align. My footnote style is using a 4mm offset for the numbers andmy paragraph styles are using a 4mm indent.

You will notice that there is no option to change these footnotes intoendnotes; for this we need a script.

Endnotes with a Script

To do this we need to turn to Peter Kahrel whoprovides many useful scripts. The one that I use here is called ‘convertfootnotes to (dynamic) endnotes’ meaning that the numbering willchange if further notes are added.

As always when using scripts to change content, save your work first!Scripts will often run through a long sequence of actions; you canalways use ‘revert’ (from the file menu), to get back to the previous.

You will see from the image here that the endnotes have their ownpage(s) with a heading that matches other heading styles. You may needto tweak the paragraph styles for the notes and their listed numbers.

Sidenotes with a Script

Once again,Peter Kahrel will help us (please make a donation on hissite) with a set of scripts. Using these we can control the width andposition as the footnotes are converted to side notes. Each note comesin it’s own text frame which is anchored at the reference point. You willsee in the example spread given here that I have turned off thenumbering. This is an option in the script dialogue. There may be theneed to move text boxes vertically, where references are near to oneanother; some degree of hand crafting will be required.3

Notes in eBooks

Footnotes are no good for reflowable eBooks! You don’t actually have apage bottom. There are various choices for eBooks depending on the type,the proposed platform and the pBook to eBook workflow.

For the reflowable eBook

When you export from InDesgn to ePub (reflowable), you have an option toconvert your footnotes to pop-up notes. This will take the notes fromthe foot of the page, wrap them in an HTML tag <aside> and addthenecessaryePub3 classes in the XHTML code. In fact you will get anattribute added to the hyperlinked number:


and then the footnote reference will be wrapped in the <aside>tag.

Finger Friendly Hyperlinks

You may find that removing the superscripted reference number(traditional in book design) and making the whole line into a hyperlink,would improve usability.

So instead of this:

We do this:

With some further adjustments to the CSS for the reference class ofhyperlink, we can see the result.

This really is much better that our original superscript numbers. Whatwe have done here could equally apply to the reflowable form of theePUB3 format.

Note: It is not possible currently to modify the style of the popup text in Apple iBooks.

In other eReaders such as Adobe Digital Editions the hyperlink works asexpected, by taking the reader to the notes page.

The pop-up note reference is supported by Apple in their iBooks app forMACs and iOS on tablets etc. It is alsodocumentedthat later Kobo devices also support pop-up notes.

It is also supported on later models of the Kindle when an ePub is converted to the MOBI format.

Other devices and software that cannot support pop-up notes will simplyfunction as hyperlinks to the list of notes at the end of the chapter orsection.InDesign does not do us any favours though, because the listof notes loses it’s numbering and the backlink does not work.

What can we do about this?

Fixing the ePUB footnotes for all systems

Solving the backlink problem can be done in 2 ways:

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We can export from InDesign as for pop-up notes, and then post edit theePub file by adding the numbers into the notes list. You will find XHTMLmarkup that looks something like the following:

If you look carefully, you will see that the link tag ends before anycontent. It should be wrapping around the number. We can add the numberbefore the </a> however, this is not a bulleted list and so weneed a space as well. This is a solution, although could be rather anonerous task is you have a lot of footnotes.

Here is another way

Rather than export from InDesign with the pop-up note option, choose the‘End of Section (Endnotes)’ option. This will work properly for thosesystems that do not support pop-up notes. In iBooks (Apple systems), thehyperlinked number will take us to the notes section at the end of thechapter. If we want to get pop-up notes working on those systems thatsupport it we will need to crack open the ePUB and make some changes.

Editing the ePUB from the Endnotes Version

Once you have unpacked the ePUB (actually I prefer to do this withBBedit no unpacking required), you can search for:

<alanguage-plaintext highlighter-rouge'><a epub:type='noteref'class='_idFootnoteLink

If you do this then the pop-up will work BUT you will also see that thenotes are still listed at the end of the chapter. Personally I actually prefer this, because we can get a second chance to read through the notes.

If you prefer not to see this list of notes, then you will need to wrapeach note in the <aside> tag, and we can do this by search andreplace but this time using GREP.

GREP Find this:

<div(notes-for-the-fixed-layout-ebook'>Notes for the Fixed Layout eBook

If you are an InDesign CC user planning to export a fixed-layout ePUB and you have footnotes in your document, you might be disappointed to notice that there is no option to make these footnotes become popup notes using the ePUB3 standard epub:type.

In the export to ePUB(reflowable) options we can select the popup type, but not for the fixed layout. Your footnotes will remain exactly where they are on the page. Disappointing no?

InDesign will expect the footnotes to be in the same XHTML file where they are referenced. There are some settings in InDesign, but nothing will help us convert them to invisible notes that are only seen in a popup.

Is there a solution while we wait for Adobe to release another version of InDesign?

Move the Footnotes

We need our references to come off the bottom of the page and be ontheir own page at the end of the book.

InDesign does not have any configuration that provides this so we needto use a script. There is one available from Peter Kahrel. On his sitehe credits others too, but the one you need is called Footnotes toEndnotes. You can grab it here.

Locate the References in the text

If you locate one of your references in the HTML markup you will find an emptyhyperlink and no mention of the correct epub:type for the ePUB3 format.

We will need to go to the last page in the ePUB to add the correct ePUB3signals for the eBook format to get the correct message!

So, in the final page we need to have a look at the destinationreferences and where we find this:

We need to add the <aside> block inside the list item like this:

Not forgetting to close the <aside> tag before the </li>.

You will need to number all of your references footnote-001,footnote-002 etc. I don’t know an easy way to do this yet.

The next step is to locate the hyperlinked references in the text. Ifyou have correctly exported a reliable tag name from InDesign, then youcan use your editor (I use Atom) to search for

<spanlanguage-plaintext highlighter-rouge'><a epub:type='noteref' href=dream-116.xhtml#footnote-001'>

in the place of the empty <a> tag.

The footnote reference has a number; you need to increment thisappropriately.

Footnotes for the Kindle

Some Kindles (Paperwhite) now support poup notes (although this is notexactly a floating window), but as I write, if you use InDesign and optfor footnotes to become popup notes then you will NOT get popup notes onthe Kindle. You will get a link to the references at the end of thechapter, and also the numbers are gone.


This is one of those situations where forking a slightly differentversion of the ePub for the Kindle may be necessary.

iBooks Author

We can’t finish this article without mentioning iBooks Author.

iBooks Author is free software from Apple for iOS designed to create ‘multi-touch’ ebooks. You can read more about using this software here, but regarding adding notes; you will need to familerise yourself with the Glossary feature, which allows the direct input of text (and images) to provide popup references.

The glossary term is provided in a popup box and the text can be styled. Once a glossary term has been created, other references can be made to the same glossary term.

  1. The Elements of Typographic Style, Bringhurst, Robert, Hartley & Marks, Publishers, 2012 ↩

  2. see Edward Tufte and this thread on sidenotes↩

  3. If you use the scripts mentioned here to put the notes in the margin or at the end of the book or chapter then your pop-up notes will not work in the reflowable eBook. ↩

Filed under: InDesign, Typography, ePub, Design and Production

This page last edited on: 2018-05-29


This is your how-to guide for footnotes following the Chicago Manual of style, 17th edition. It will help you understand footnotes vs endnotes, teach you how to create them, and show real examples you can learn from.

Footnotes vs Endnotes

People working in the humanities—literature, history, and the arts—are the primary users of the Chicago footnotes and bibliography system. The Chicago footnotes format helps writers to reference their sources in a way that does not interrupt the flow of the writing.

Whether you want to use footnotes or endnotes is up to you. Both are perfectly acceptable; it’s mainly a question of personal preference. Just pick one and use it consistently.

Here’s a quick overview of the two note styles:

Why We Use Footnotes

The style of Chicago/Turabian we use requires footnotes rather than in-text or parenthetical citations. Footnotes or endnotes acknowledge which parts of their paper reference particular sources. Generally, you want to provide the author’s name, publication title, publication information, date of publication, and page number(s) if it is the first time the source is being used. Any additional usage, simply use the author’s last name, publication title, and date of publication.

Footnotes should match with a superscript number at the end of the sentence referencing the source. You should begin with 1 and continue numerically throughout the paper. Do not start the order over on each page.

In the text: Best grammar editing software for mac download.

Throughout the first half of the novel, Strether has grown increasingly open and at ease in Europe; this quotation demonstrates openness and ease.1

In the footnote:

1. Henry James, The Ambassadors (Rockville: Serenity, 2009), 34-40.

When citing a source more than once, use a shortened version of the footnote.

2. James, The Ambassadors, 14.

Creating Footnotes

Chicago footnotes provide a note each time a source is referenced and are often combined with a bibliography at the end.

  • If you use a bibliography: You do not need to provide the full citation in the footnotes, but rather a shortened form of the citation. The reader can consult your bibliography to find the full reference.
  • If you only include footnotes and not a bibliography: You must include the full citation the first time you reference the work. The next time you use the same work, you can just use the shortened citation form.

Footnotes should:

  • Include the pages on which the cited information is found so that readers easily find the source.
  • Match with a superscript number (example: 1)at the end of the sentence referencing the source.
  • Begin with 1 and continue numerically throughout the paper. Do not start the order over on each page.

Sometimes you may not be able to find all of the information generally included in a citation. This is common for online material and older sources. If this happens, just use the information you have to form the citation.

  • No author: Use the title in the author’s position.
  • No date of publication: “n.d.” (no date) can be used as a placeholder.
  • You may use “n.p.” to indicate no publisher, no place of publication, or no page.

Looking for extra help creating footnotes? Check out the Chicago footnotes generator that comes with a subscription to EasyBib Plus.

Citing sources with more than 1 author

If there are two or three authors, include their full names in the order they appear on the source.

In the shortened form, list the last names of all authors of a work with two or three authors.


  1. 1st Author First name Last name and 2nd Author First name Last name, Title (Place of publication: Publisher, Year), page number(s).
  2. 1st Author Last name and 2nd Author Last name, Shortened title, page number(s).


  1. Alexander Aciman and Emmett Rensin, Twitterature: The World’s Greatest Books in Twenty Tweets or Less (New York: Penguin Books, 2009), 47-48.
  2. Aciman and Rensin, Twitterature, 25.

Citing sources with 4 or more authors

Publishing Software For Mac Footnotes

If there are more than three authors, list only the first author followed by “et al.” List all the authors in the bibliography.

In the shortened form, if there are more than three authors, only give the last name of the first author followed by “et al.”


  1. 1st Author First name Last name et al., Title (Place of publication: Publisher, Year), page number(s).
  2. 1st Author Last name et al., Shortened title, page number(s).


  1. Karen White et al., The Forgotten Room (New York: Berkley, 2016), 33-38.
  2. White, Forgotten, 52.

Get help with footnotes by using the EasyBib Plus Chicago footnotes generator.

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Citing sources with other contributor information

You may want to include other contributor information in your footnotes such as editor, translator, or compiler. If there is more than one of any given contributor, include their full names in the order they appear on the source.

  1. Harry Mulisch, The Assault, trans. Claire Nicolas White (New York: Pantheon Books, 1985), 14.
  2. Mulisch, Assault, 29.If the contributor is taking place of the author, use their full name instead of the author’s and provide their contribution.

If the contributor is taking the place of the author, use their full name instead of the author’s and provide their contribution.

  1. Theo Hermans, ed., A Literary History of the Low Countries (Rochester: Camden House, 2009), 372.
  2. Hermans, Low Countries, 301.

If you have a corporate author, use that name in place of the author.

Citing sources with no author

It may not be possible to find the author/contributor information; some sources may not even have an author or contributor- for instance, when you cite some websites. Simply omit the unknown information and continue with the footnote as usual.

Example Book (New York: Scholastic, 2010), 65.

Citing a part of a work

When citing a specific part of a work in the Chicago footnotes format, provide the relevant page(s) or section identifier. This can include specific pages, sections, or volumes. If page numbers cannot be referenced, simply exclude them.

Article in a book:

  1. Kristen Poole, “Dr. Faustus and Reformation Theology,” in Early Modern English Drama: A Critical Companion, ed. G.A. Sullivan et al. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), 100.
  2. Poole, “Dr. Faustus,” 102.

Chapter in a book:

  1. Garrett P. Serviss, “A Trip of Terror,” in A Columbus of Space (New York: Appleton, 1911), 17-32.
  2. Serviss, “Trip,” 20.

Introduction, afterword, foreword, or preface:

  1. Scott R. Sanders, introduction to Touchstone Anthology of Contemporary Creative Nonfiction: Work from 1970 to Present, ed. Lex Williford and Michael Martone (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2007), x-xii.
  2. Sanders, “Introduction,” xi.

Article in a periodical:

  1. William G. Jacoby, “Public Attitudes Toward Public Spending,” American Journal of Political Science 38, no. 2 (May 1994): 336-61.
  2. Jacoby, “Public Attitudes,” 345.

Citing group or corporate authors

In your footnotes, cite a corporate author like you would a normal author.

American Medical Association, Journal of the American Medical Association: 12-43.

Citing secondary sources

It is generally discouraged in Chicago style to cite material that you cannot examine in its original form. If this is absolutely necessary, you must cite both the original work and the secondary one in Chicago footnotes.

  1. Letter, J.B. Rhine to Aldous Huxley, August 15, 1957, Parapsychology Laboratory Records (1983-1984), Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, quoted in Stacy Horn, Unbelievable: Investigations into Ghosts, Poltergeists, Telepathy, and Other Unseen Phenomena, from the Duke Parapsychology Laboratory, (New York: HarperCollins, 2009).

Citing the Bible

When you cite the Bible, include the abbreviated title of the book, the chapter(s), and the verse(s) referenced. You use a colon between chapter and verse. Also, include the version you are referencing. The version must be spelled out for a general audience, but it may be abbreviated for specialists.

  1. Prov. 3:5-10 (AV).


  1. Prov. 3:5-10 (Authorized King James Version).

Citing online sources

For online sources, Chicago footnotes generally follow the same principles as printed works.The URL, database name, or DOI need to be included so that the reader can easily find the work cited.


“Twitter Privacy Policy,” Privacy Policy, Twitter, last modified January 1, 2020,

News article:

Eliot Brown, “In Silicon Valley, the Big Venture Funds Keep Getting Bigger,” Wall Street Journal, July 25, 2017,


Cynthia J. Cyrus, The Scribes for Women’s Convents in Late Medieval Germany (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2009), ProQuest Ebook Central.

Social media:

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EasyBib (@EasyBib), “Writing a research paper?,” Twitter, January 21, 2020, 5:20 p.m.,

Online video:

Doritos, “The Cool Ranch Long Form feat. Lil Nas X and Sam Elliott,” YouTube video, 01:30, posted February 2, 2020,

Electronic personal communication:

  1. Jane Smith, email message to author, January 1, 2020.
  2. John Smith, Facebook direct message to author, January 2, 2020.


The Chicago Manual of Style. 17ed. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2017.

Published June 28, 2012. Updated March 11, 2020.

Written by Janice Hansen. Janice has a doctorate in literature and a master’s degree in library science. She spends a lot of time with rare books and citations.

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