Footnotes Made Easy


Footnotes Made Easy is a simple but powerful method of adding footnotes into your posts and pages.

Key features include…

  • Simple footnote insertion via double parentheses
  • Combine identical notes
  • Solution for paginated posts
  • Suppress Footnotes on specific page types
  • Option to display ‘pretty’ tooltips using jQuery
  • Lots of configuration options
  • And much, much more!

Technical specification…

  • Licensed under GPLv2 (or later)
  • Designed for both single and multisite installations
  • PHP7 compatible
  • Fully internationalised, ready for translations. If you would like to add a translation to this plugin then please head to our Translating WordPress page

Footnotes Made Easy is a fork of WP Footnotes, a plugin by Simon Elvery which was abandoned some years ago.

Please visit the GitHub page for the latest code development, planned enhancements and known issues.

Icons made by Cursor Creative from is licensed by CC 3.0 BY.

Getting Started

Creating a footnote is incredibly simple – you just need to include your footnote in double parentheses, such as this…

This is a sentence ((and this is your footnote)).

The footnote will then appear at the bottom of your post/page.

Important note: Make sure you include a space before your opening double parentheses or the footnote won’t work!


You have a fair few options on how the identifier links, footnotes, and back-links look, which can be found in the WordPress admin area under Settings -> Footnotes.

Paginated Posts

Some of you seem to like paginating post, which is kind of problematic. By default, each page of your posts will have its own set of footnotes at the bottom and the numbering will start again from 1 for each page.

The only way to get around this is to know how many posts are on each page, and tell Footnotes Made Easy what number you want the list to start at for each of the pages. So, at some point on each page (that is, between each <!--nextpage--> tag) you need to add a tag to let the plugin know what number the footnotes on this page should start at. The tag should look like this <!--startnum=5--> where “5” is the number you want the footnotes for this page to start at.


Sometimes it’s useful to be able to refer to a previous footnote a second (or third, or fourth…) time. To do this, you can either simply insert the exact same text as you did the first time and the identifier should simply reference the previous note. Alternatively, if you don’t want to do all that typing again, you can construct a footnote like this: ((ref:1)) and the identifier will reference the footnote with the given number.

Even though it’s a little more typing, using the exact text method is much more robust. The number referencing will not work across multiple pages in a paged post (but will work within the page). Also, if you use the number referencing system, you risk them identifying the incorrect footnote if you go back, insert a new footnote, and forget to change the referenced number.


  • An example showing the footnotes in use
  • The settings screen with advanced settings shown


Footnotes Made Easy can be found and installed via the Plugin menu within WordPress administration (Plugins -> Add New). Alternatively, it can be downloaded from and installed manually…

  1. Upload the entire footnotes-made-easy folder to your wp-content/plugins/ directory.
  2. Activate the plugin through the ‘Plugins’ menu in WordPress administration.

Voila! It’s ready to go.


What are the plans for this plugin?

Release 1.0 is literally the last version of the plugin code from 4 years ago with new branding added to it and removal of some code that I knew didn’t work. The next release will see the code tidied up and some initial minor extras added. At this stage I will be looking to add more major features but nothing too much – I wish to keep the plugin as easy-to-use as possible with simplified features.

Other than the available options, can the footnote output be styled?

Yes it can. The easiest way is to use the CSS editor in your theme customiser. For example, ‘ol.footnotes’ refers to the footnotes list in general and ‘ol.footnotes li’ the individual footnotes.


December 26, 2018
A great plugin that is easy to use and has a lot of settings to set it up to your liking. I used to use footnotes by Manfisher, but this plugin is no longer maintained and crashed on Gutenberg. This plugin can take over for this old plugin, so no need to go through the pages to change the (short)codes.
December 3, 2018
Thank you for this wonderful plugin! It has anything I need: all the essential settings.
September 25, 2017
Easy to use and stable plugin and fairly streamlined even at this stage of development.
June 30, 2017
I've spent the better part of an afternoon trying to find a good footnotes solution for a project I'm working on and this plugin is my final choice! It was the only one I found with support for citing the same source multiple times without it showing up in the footnotes multiple times, supports HTML inside the footnotes, and is easy to use and accessible as well. Highly recommend this if you need to use footnotes!
Read all 5 reviews

Contributors & Developers

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


“Footnotes Made Easy” has been translated into 1 locale. Thank you to the translators for their contributions.

Translate “Footnotes Made Easy” into your language.

Interested in development?

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

Change log

Learn more about my version numbering methodology


  • Bug: Fixed some bugs around settings getting saved (thanks to Rufus87)
  • Enhancement: Improved code to better meet VIP coding standards (not 100% yet but looking better!)
  • Enhancement: Added Github links to plugin meta. Added other useful meta as well
  • Enhancement: Minor enhancements to the way that field headings are shown in the settings
  • Enhancement: Added a further check to the settings savings function, to ensure it’s not called when it’s not needed (thanks to seuser)
  • Maintenance: Increased minimum PHP level 5.6 after reports of issues at 5.4. Upgrade people!
  • Maintenance: Removed some redundant code from where there used to be a button on the settings screen to reset all the options


  • Maintenance: Updated this README to display better in the new plugin repository. Also updated the image assets (banner and icon)
  • Maintenance: Minimum WordPress requirement is now 4.6. This means various checks and bits of code could be removed, including the languages folder, as this is now handled natively.


  • Initial release