Various foot- and endnote tools

Several scripts here to manage footnotes: convert footnotes to (dynamic) endnotes or margin notes; convert footnotes to column-spanning footnotes; set footnotes in columns; inline notes; and managing the space between main text and ID's footnotes.

After many years of silence, Adobe added functionality to notes: CC2017 introduced column-spanning footnotes and per-page overrides for some footnote properties; CC2018 introduced endnotes, both in the main text and in tables; and from CC2019 we can finally add footnotes in tables.

Convert footnotes to endnotes, column notes, or margin notes

Before CC2018, InDesign did just one type of note: footnotes (not counting what is called 'note' in InDesign, i.e. the sticky notes). This arsenal can be expanded by some scripts. Several scripts described here implement a method outlined by Peter Gold (in InDesign's user-to-user forum) and described in detail by Bob Bringhurst (see his blog; see also The method is simple: create a paragraph style for the endnotes and enable numbering in it; create a character style that sets the format for the note references; and add a cross-reference format that defines just a paragraph's number. Then at the location of the note reference, create a cross-reference to the endnote.

The method outlined by Peter Gold is simple and elegant, but labour-intensive if you want to convert all footnotes in a document or when you've placed in InDesign an MS Word document that contains a lot of endnotes which you want to convert to dynamic endnotes. The scripts make this task easy.

Recently, however, like some other people, I've been bitten by some issues to do with cross-references. One issue is that cross-references cannot practically be used in books because updating them is terribly slow. Another problem is that when something goes wrong with cross-references, the document is difficult to repair. I've spent several hours fixing cross-reference problems in a few of my own documents but also in documents of some other people. The scripts in the first section, "Footnotes and columns", and the script to do end-of-book notes, use a non-dynamic method; the one in "Footnotes to endnotes" does create dynamically numbered notes.

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Table footnotes (CC2019–)

Footnotes can be added to tables from CC2019. Unfortunately, the footnotes appear together with the main text's footnotes, as in MS Word. But most of the time, typesetters need footnotes that are separate from the body text, and are placed immediately after the table. And they use their own numbering and numbering style, usually Roman, starting at 1 at every table. A script can handle this.

Footnotes and columns

For reasons mentioned earlier I've become a bit more careful with cross-references, now preferring methods without them if there is a reasonable alternative. The scripts in this section describe footnote solutions that do seem to me to be reasonable alternatives. The numbering is semi-automatic in that the notes themselves are numbered automatically using numbered lists (this is convenient and unproblematic), but the note references are updated using a simple script. An added bonus is that these scripts can be used in CS3, too, unlike the cross-reference scripts, which work only in CS4 and later.

From CC2017, InDesign supports column-spanning footnotes.

Footnotes to endnotes (pre-CC2018)

The script described here converts a document's footnotes to dynamically numbered endnotes using cross-references.

Footnotes to endnotes (CC2018–)

Convert a document's footnotes to InDesign's native endnotes. From CC2018 InDesign can convert notes.

Endnotes to end-of-book notes

Document endnotes are placed as end-of-book notes in an InDesign book workflow.

Endnotes as pop-up footnotes

In PDF and Epub, InDesign creates links between endnotes and their references. But rather than jumping back and forth, it's easier to have those endnotes as pop-up footnotes.

Footnotes to end-of-book notes

Document footnotes are converted to end-of-book notes in an InDesign book workflow.

Page references to endnote numbers in running headers in the endnote section

The script creates page references to endnotes in an endnote section or document of the form Notes to pp. 45–52.

Footnotes to margin notes

Convert InDesign's footnotes to marginal notes. Several placement options are available.

Blind endnotes

Endnotes without note numbers or references are called 'blind notes'. The text isn't marked at all while the notes contain only a page reference.

Blind endnotes keyed with key phrases

A variant of blind notes. Apart from a page reference, these notes also contain a key phrase which can be found in the text on the referenced page.

Endnotes to footnotes (pre-CC2018)

Convert endnotes (both static and dynamic) to InDesign's (dynamic) footnotes.

Endnotes to footnotes (CC2018–)

Convert InDesign's native endnotes footnotes.

Endnotes to static endnotes (CC2018–)

Convert InDesign's endnotes to (plain-text) static endnotes.

Static endnotes to dynamic endnotes

Static endnotes can be converted to dynamic endnotes.

Adding and deleting notes: managing cross-references

The scripts described on these pages all make use of cross-referencing for their numbering. Here we give a brief overview of how to deal with these cross-references and show how to delete and add notes, and how to restart numbering.

Inline footnotes

Indesign can't set several notes on one line. The method described here (due to David Goodrich) and the script that automates the method are an easy fix. (Unlike the other scripts on this page, the inline script doesn't use cross-references.)

Footnote spacing

Adjust the space between main text and single footnotes. InDesign's setting for the space between the text and the first footnote on a page is document-wide, which is too confining. From CC 2017, the space between text and notes can be set per page.

Add hyperlinks to footnotes

Add hyperlinks to footnotes so that the notes can be navigated when the document is exported to PDF.

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Installing and running scripts

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