How to Hide Footnotes in Word: A Step-by-Step Guide

Sometimes, footnotes can clutter up your document and distract from the main text. But don’t worry; hiding them in Word is a breeze! All you need to do is adjust a few settings, and voil√†, your footnotes will be out of sight but not out of mind. Let’s dive in and master this handy Word feature together.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Hide Footnotes in Word

Before we get started, know that hiding footnotes in Word doesn’t delete them; it just tucks them away so you can focus on your document’s main content. Ready to streamline your Word doc? Follow these simple steps.

Step 1: Open Your Document

Open the Word document that contains the footnotes you want to hide.

When you open your document, make sure you’re in the "Print Layout" view. This view will show you how your document will look when printed, including the footnotes.

Step 2: Navigate to the References Tab

Click on the "References" tab at the top of your Word window.

The "References" tab is where you’ll find all the tools for managing citations, bibliographies, and, of course, footnotes.

Step 3: Click on "Show Notes"

In the footnotes section, click on "Show Notes."

After clicking "Show Notes," a pane will appear at the bottom of the page, displaying all the footnotes in your document.

Step 4: Choose the Footnote Area

Select the dropdown arrow in the footnotes pane and choose the "Footnote Separator" option.

Choosing the "Footnote Separator" will display the line that Word automatically inserts between your text and the footnotes.

Step 5: Delete the Footnote Separator

Delete the footnote separator line.

Once you delete this line, the footnotes will still exist, but they won’t be visible in the Print Layout view.

After completing these steps, your document will look much cleaner, and the main text will stand out without the distraction of footnotes. However, if you need to review your footnotes later, you can easily reverse the process and bring them back into view.

Tips for Managing Footnotes in Word

  • Always save a copy of your document before making changes to footnotes.
  • Use the "Show/Hide ¬∂" button to see hidden formatting symbols, which can help when editing footnotes.
  • If you’re sharing the document with others, let them know that the footnotes are hidden.
  • Consider using endnotes instead of footnotes if you want them to be less intrusive.
  • Remember that hiding footnotes won’t affect word count since they’re still part of the document.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will hiding footnotes affect my word count?

No, hiding footnotes does not affect the word count; they are still part of the document.

Can I still access my footnotes after hiding them?

Yes, you can access your footnotes by reversing the process used to hide them.

Is there a way to permanently delete footnotes?

To permanently delete footnotes, you must manually remove them from the document.

Can I hide footnotes in Word Online?

The process may differ slightly in Word Online, but you can still manage footnotes in a similar way.

Will hiding footnotes affect the formatting of my document?

Hiding footnotes should not affect the overall formatting of your document, just the visibility of the footnotes.


  1. Open the document.
  2. Click on the "References" tab.
  3. Select "Show Notes."
  4. Choose "Footnote Separator."
  5. Delete the separator line.


Mastering how to hide footnotes in Word can make your document look neater and more focused on the main text. While it might seem tricky at first, following the simple steps we’ve outlined will help you achieve a cleaner document in no time. Remember, hiding footnotes doesn’t mean getting rid of them entirely; it’s just a way to help you concentrate on your writing without the distraction of additional notes. Whether you’re drafting an academic paper, a report for work, or just taking notes for personal use, knowing how to manage footnotes efficiently can save you time and frustration. And if you ever need to reference those footnotes again, they’re just a few clicks away. Happy writing, and may your documents always be as clear and concise as you need them to be!

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