This plugin hasn’t been tested with the latest three major releases of WordPress. It may no longer be maintained or supported and may have compatibility issues when used with more recent versions of WordPress.

Civil Footnotes


“Civil Footnotes is kickass. Works like a charm.”

—Daniel Ignacio

Civil Footnotes is a WordPress plugin for adding footnotes on your blog. Civil Footnotes parses your posts for notes wrapped in ((double parenthesis)), which are then reformatted as Daring Fireball-style footnotes.

There are many solutions for footnotes on WordPress blogs, but Civil Footnotes stands above the rest. Most importantly, the syntax for creating notes is simple and very readable as plain text. The syntax works peacefully alongside Markdown.

The majority of Civil Footnotes’s formatting is taken from Daring Fireball, which first debuted this style of footnotes in 2005.

The key difference is the addition of a title attribute to the footnote reference in the text. One need only hover their cursor over the reference number to read the note, eliminating two mouse clicks. For more information, visit the plugin page on the author’s website.

Civil Footnotes is based on ‘WP-Footnotes’, a WordPress plugin by Simon Elvery.


The easiest way to install Civil Footnotes is through the Admin section of your WordPress install. Otherwise:

  1. Download and unzip

  2. Upload the civil-footnotes folder to the /wp-content/plugins/ directory of your WordPress install

  3. Activate the plugin through the ‘Plugins’ menu in WordPress


How do I use this plugin?

Please read the syntax guide.

Why aren’t there any settings?

Good software is opinionated. Good software makes decisions. Civil Footnotes has made decisions. There are a few CSS hooks you can use to style your footnotes, as detailed on the plugin site.

If you’re savvy, civil-footnotes.php is annotated with information on where to make edits to modify the plugin’s output.

I found a bug, how can I report it?

The best way to report a bug is directly to me via email, Twitter, or You can also start a discussion on the WordPress support forum.

Can I make a suggestion for a new feature?

You can, of course, but no guarantees. My website offers a few different ways to contact me.


This plugin is licensed under the same license as WordPress itself, the GPLv2 (or later).

Why is your background image in the Plugin Directory the Manhattan skyline?

Because it’s pretty.

Where can I download archived releases of Civil Footnotes?

From the main plugin page on the author’s website.


February 8, 2017
When it works, it REALLY works! I love how Civil Footnotes LOOKS to visitors of my 4.0.1 forums site, where it works for pages (not bbPress topics). I'm one of "two people" who voted that it it works with this ver: I'm the "one person" who voted that it works with my WP 4.1 site, a related eCommerce venue. And it did at first--I was thrilled because it's exactly what I need! For the first time, I needed an image slider. After trying several, I decided on Slider WD: I was SO disappointed to discover that when Civil Footnotes was active, the slider couldn't load images and citation-numbered "jibberish" code was displayed at the bottom of the page (which cites no footnotes). So sadly, I must deactivate it. Is it possible to fix this glitch? If not, can you recommend a slider plug-in compatible with Civil Footnotes? Many thanks for your advice, Anna
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Contributors & Developers

“Civil Footnotes” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.


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Interested in development?

Browse the code, check out the SVN repository, or subscribe to the development log by RSS.

Change log


  • Added a ‘footnote’ rel class to the footnote links


  • Fixed two PHP errors (thanks to Greg Sullivan)
  • From now on, identical footnotes will be created as two separate footnotes (as they should be)


  • Added support for starting footnotes with a different number (e.g. 5)
  • Add <!--startnum=5--> or similar anywhere in the post or page to do so
  • This is handy for paginated posts


  • Changed the backlink’s hover text, now more fun and more aligned with DF-style
  • Added annotations to the plugin file to make it easier to modify output HTML
  • Revised structure of output creation to make it easier to modify output HTML
  • Fixed a bug that caused a </p> tag to not appear in the notes

This update is recommended for all users running Civil Footnotes 1.0


  • First release