Going deep with footnotes


Whether you’re explaining, referencing, or elaborating, footnotes and endnotes are an invaluable design tool. However, as with every little (and big) part of a page layout, someone has to format them—and that can mean a lot of pain, particularly since InDesign’s built-in footnotes feature leaves much to be desired.

In the March 2017 InDesign Magazine article Going deep with footnotes, world-renowned scripting engineer Peter Kahrel shows you what can be achieved—from basic footnotes, endnotes, and margin notes, through to table notes and complex multiple footnote threads—with workarounds and scripts.

Peter’s comprehensive how-to guide is reproduced here in full with permission from the team at InDesign Secrets. Become a member of InDesign Secrets to receive the full version of InDesign Magazine every month, along with a range of other benefits—use the discount code Typefi to get $10 off!

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March 2017 InDesign Magazine cover. The lead story is 'All about footnotes' and additional features include pasteboard pointers, Roger Black, and GreenLight.

About Peter

Peter Kahrel, Typefi

Peter trained as a linguist at the University of Amsterdam and has an MA and a PhD, specialising in syntax, semantics, and typology. He has lived in the UK since 1994, working as a typesetter, editor, copy-editor, and indexer (and sometimes as a designer too) for publishers in the UK, the Netherlands, and Germany, preparing for the press both books and journals. He combined this with teaching at the Linguistics Department at Lancaster University.

Peter has been programming InDesign with JavaScript since 2003, mainly to cut out the tedium that faces every typesetter and indexer but in equal measure because it’s good fun. He has worked as a script developer at Typefi since 2010, and is highly regarded in the global InDesign scripting community.