This page explains how to create footnotes on Wikipedia pages. Footnotes are used most commonly to provide references in articles, although they have other uses as well. They are generated using the following tags in the editable text of a page: <ref>...</ref> within the text, and <references /> or {{Reflist}} at the end where the footnote list is to appear.

The most common use of footnotes in Wikipedia articles is to provide inline citations to reliable sources, although footnotes can also be used for other purposes. The use of <ref> tags is not required by any policy or guideline, and other systems of inline citation, including parenthetical referencing, may be used at the editors' discretion. However, <ref> tags are by far the most popular system for inline citations.

This page concerns technical methods for creating footnotes. For advice on how to organize and format references, see Citing sources and Citation template examples.

Overviewફેરફાર કરો

How a footnote is created in the editable text of a page. (Click to see more detail.)

The footnoting system involves two elements:

  • Footnote markers.ઢાંચો:Listref These are links, usually in the form ઢાંચો:Dummy ref, ઢાંચો:Dummy ref, etc. Clicking on a footnote marker will take you to the correspondingly numbered footnote.
  • The footnotes themselves. These appear in a list (usually placed near the end of the article), and include links back to the corresponding footnote markers.

Footnote markers are generated using <ref> tags. The list of footnotes is generated using the <references /> tag, or the corresponding {{Reflist}} template, placed in the editable text at the point where the footnotes are to appear. The text of a footnote is placed between opening <ref> and closing </ref> tags, either at the point where the footnote marker is to appear, or within the <references /> element. If the page contains footnote markers but no footnote list, a red cite error message will appear.

Creating a footnote markerફેરફાર કરો

At the point in the page text where the footnote marker is to appear, enter the text of the footnote and put the two pieces of coding before and after the footnote-text, like this:

<ref>LibreOffice For Starters, First Edition, Flexible Minds, Manchester, 2002, p. 18</ref>

This will create a footnote marker (automatically numbered). The footnote text itself will appear in the footnote list, generated as described below. If there is no footnote list markup, a red warning message will appear, reminding you to write the markup that generates the list.

You can include formatting and links in a footnote in the usual way, although certain features, such as the pipe trick and template substitution, will not work in footnotes. For the formatting of references, citation templates, such as a generic {{citation}}, or more specific {{cite book}}, {{cite web}}, etc., are available, although many editors prefer not to use them. See Citing sources for details on how references can be structured.

To aid readability in the edit window, a single newline can be added after the closing </ref> tag before continuing with the text of the paragraph. This has the same effect as putting a space after the closing tag.

Multiple references to the same footnoteફેરફાર કરો

It is possible to refer to the same footnote more than once, in other words to generate several footnote markers, all with the same number, which link to the same footnote. To achieve this, named footnotes (named references) are used.

A footnote is named using the name attribute of the <ref> tag. Choose a name (such as "Perry"), and then at one of the footnote marker points (it makes sense to choose the first), enter the footnote like this:

<ref name=Perry>Perry's Handbook, Sixth Edition, McGraw-Hill Co., 1984</ref>

Then you can create another identical marker linking to the same footnote from any other point in the text, by entering the following (note the final slash):

<ref name=Perry />

ઢાંચો:Refname rules

Creating the footnote listફેરફાર કરો

At the point where you want the text of the footnotes to appear, usually at the end of the article in a section titled "References" or "Notes (see the Footers in the layout guideline for more information), put the following markup:

<references />

A commonly used alternative, which includes some formatting, is the {{Reflist}} template:


This template has parameters available for splitting the list into columns, and for controlling their width. For example, {{Reflist|2}} puts the list of footnotes into two columns. (For more options, see the reflist template documentation.)

The footnote list must be inserted on the page below (after) all the footnote markers.

If the page has markup to generate a footnote list, but there are no footnote markers on the page, the list will simply appear as a blank line. No warning or error message is displayed.

List-defined referencesફેરફાર કરો

In order to make the article text easier to read in the edit window, particularly in sections with many citations, editors may decide to write all footnotes in the shorter "named" form. This can be done using the list-defined references function, where the content of the references is defined within the reference list, rather than in the article text. The syntax is as follows:

Markup Renders as

This can also be done using the {{Reflist}} template with a |refs= parameter:

Markup Renders as

The references will appear numbered in the order that they are referred to in the text, regardless of how they are ordered within the reflist/references template. References which are list-defined but unused (that is, are not in the text) will show a cite error message.

If it becomes necessary to convert references from the list-defined to the inline format or vice versa, the page Converting between references formats documents procedures for doing so.

What it looks likeફેરફાર કરો

When a page with footnotes is displayed in a browser, the <ref> tags in the main text are converted to auto-numbered superscripts, like this:

The only reference to LibreOffice for Starters.[૧] The first reference to Perry's Handbook.[૨] The second reference to Perry's Handbook and to another, related book.[૨][૩] A statement that requires a reference.ઢાંચો:Fake citation needed The only reference to Linux in a Nutshell.[૪] And third reference to Perry's Handbook.[૨]

Clicking on a numbered superscript takes you straight to the text of the corresponding footnote. (The ઢાંચો:Fake citation needed item is not a footnote marker; it is produced by the {{fact}} template, used to indicate a point where a reference ought to be provided.)

The <references /> tag or {{Reflist}} template is expanded to show the text of the footnotes against their corresponding numbers, like this:

  1. LibreOffice for Starters, First Edition, Flexible Minds, Manchester, 2002.
  2. ૨.૦ ૨.૧ ૨.૨ Perry's Handbook, Sixth Edition, McGraw-Hill Co., 1984.
  3. Nuclear Chemical Engineering (2nd Edition), McGraw-Hill Co., 1981.
  4. Linux in a Nutshell, O'Reily Co., 2003.

For single-reference footnotes, clicking on the caret ઢાંચો:Dummy backlink takes you back to the footnote marker in the main text. For multiple-reference footnotes, the links back to the main text are distinguished by letter superscripts ઢાંચો:Dummy backlink. Clicking on a letter superscript takes you to the corresponding marker in the main text.

Previewing editsફેરફાર કરો

When you edit a single section of a page, the footnotes list will not be visible when you preview your edits. Thus you ordinarily cannot see how your footnotes will later appear when you save your edits.

You can insert a {{Reflist}} into the edited section temporarily and remove it before saving; you will still not be able to see named references which were defined in other sections.

Tools that can be used are the User:Anomie/ajaxpreview.js script or the wikEd gadget.

Grouping footnotesફેરફાર કરો

Sometimes it is useful to group the footnotes into separate lists, for example to separate explanatory notes from references, or to list references for tables, image captions, infoboxes and navboxes. This can be accomplished with the group attribute. The sequence of footnote labels is independent in each group.

Editor-defined groupsફેરફાર કરો

Footnotes that do not use the group attribute have plain automatic numbers for their labels. When the group attibute is used, in-text footnote labels are formed from the group name, a space and the automatic number. However the labels in the footnote list entries just use the numbers without the prefix.

Markup Renders as

Predefined groupsફેરફાર કરો

There are several predefined group names that apply a style to the footnote labels and to the reference list:

ઢાંચો:Cite link label styles

The in-text footnote is defined using one of the group names, for example:

<ref group=lower-alpha>Footnote 1</ref>

The reference list is invoked using {{Reflist}} with the group name. The group name must not be enclosed by quotes. For example:

Markup Renders as


  • Backlink labels are always styled as lower-alpha. This can be confusing when the footnotes are also labelled alphabetically.
  • The entries in the reference list will show the default decimal styling if:
    • The value for |group= does not exactly match one of the predefined values.
    • The value for |group= is enclosed by quotes.
    • {{Reflist}} is indented with the : markup.
    • <references /> is used instead of {{Reflist}}
  • The entries in the reference list will have no styling if:
    • A reference is included in {{navbox}} or one of the variants and the style is set to bodyclass=hlist; to resolve this, replace the style with with listclass=hlist.

Multiple reference listsફેરફાર કરો

It is possible to include multiple instances of the reference list markup <references /> or {{Reflist}} on a page. Care must be taken to ensure that multiple reference lists are closed so that the references intended for one list do not appear in another list. To close the reference list markup, simply use any parameter in the reference list markup. Normally different reference lists would use different groups, so the reference list markup will be closed.

In this example, the reference list markup is unclosed and the reference list is repeated in the two subsequent lists and the third in-text footnote number is rendered incorrectly:

Markup Renders as

To prevent this and close references so that they are not rendered incorrectly, the reference list markup must include any parameter, such as |group=, |refs= or a column parameter. If parameters are not desired, a dummy parameter may be used, by convention |close=. For example:

Markup Renders as

Embedding references within footnotesફેરફાર કરો

Explanatory notes may need to be referenced. Due to limitations in the Cite.php software, reference tags cannot be nested— a set of <ref>...</ref> tags cannot be placed inside another pair of <ref>...</ref> tags; attempting to do so will result in a cite error.

The magic word #tag:ref may be used to nest references. The markup is:


Where refcontent may include <ref>...</ref> tags. The name and groupname are optional, but must come after refcontent. If the groupname is not specified, then the main and nested references will be rendered into the same reference list. Attempting to use #tag:ref more than once within list-defined references will result in a cite error.


Markup Renders as

The syntax of #tag:ref is not obvious, as parameters must come after the content; {{refn}} may be used in place of the #tag:ref markup.

Markup Renders as

Explanatory notesફેરફાર કરો

Most footnotes are citations, which identify sources. Another kind of footnote is an explanatory footnote which is a comment that would be too detailed or too awkward to include in the body of the article. The Wikipedia Manual of style does not mandate a layout for explanatory footnotes at the bottom of the article, and in fact provides for several approaches that are acceptable. An important factor whether or not Shortened footnotes are used or not. Here are some common approaches to laying out the footnotes.

A This example uses standard footnotes with all citations and explanatory notes in a single Notes sections:

Markup Renders as

B This example uses Shortened footnotes with a References section and combines explanatory notes and citations in a Notes section:

Markup Renders as

C This example uses list-defined references mixed with explanatory notes.

Markup Renders as

D This example uses list-defined references and creates a separate notes section by using group names.

Markup Renders as

Citing one book repeatedly with different page numbersફેરફાર કરો

Suppose you would like to cite one book. But different facts appear on different pages. And you would like to use one citation again and again, but point each fact to the proper page. Suppose one fact is on page 8, a different fact on page 12, a third fact on page 18, a fourth fact on page 241. You could put a line in the "pages" parameter saying "see pages 8, 12, 18, 241" but the fact-checker might have to check all of them before figuring out the right one. Or, you could re-use the book citation, but have each one list a different page; but that would be clumsy. You can use shortened citations, but that requires the full citation (without page numbers) to be placed in a section near the end of the article. Another way is to attach a {{rp|p.8}} right after the reference pointer.ઢાંચો:Listref and replace the "8" with whatever page number.

For example:

Markup Renders as

When using list-defined references, {{r}} can be used for the same style of in-text page references.

Notesફેરફાર કરો