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Use a Footnote to include additional information that appears at the bottom of a page in your print edition.

Generally, footnotes should be used for ancillary information, like an explanation or a comment, rather than a citation (for which an endnote is often more appropriate.)

This feature was added in Vellum 3.7. Make sure you are up-to-date.

Adding a Footnote

To insert a footnote, click in the Text Editor where you’d like it to appear and choose Footnote from the Text Feature menu:

Vellum's Text Feature menu


When you add or click on a Footnote, an editor will appear at the bottom of the window:

Footnote indicator selected in main Text Editor and footnote editor active

Use this editor to create or modify the content of your Footnote.

To close the editor, press Done, or click in the main Text Editor.

If you have multiple footnotes in your book, you can switch between them using the arrow buttons at the top of the editor.


To change the look of footnote indicators in your book, use the editor’s gear menu and choose Appearance:

Gear menu for Footnote editor, Appearance menu item selected

In the panel displayed, you can configure the appearance of indicators for both Endnotes and Footnotes:

Endnotes and Footnotes panel, displaying options for footnote indicators

You can select from these options:

*, †, ‡
A common format for footnotes, especially when there are a small number per chapter — this is the default for new books created in Vellum
1, 2, 3
Often used for books that have a large number of footnotes per chapter
i, ii, iii
Rarely used for footnotes, but an option to consider if you have a large number of both endnotes and footnotes
a, b, c
Sometimes seen in books that use superscript numbers for other purposes (passages, scientific notation, etc.)

Note: Changing footnote indicator appearance may alter endnote indicators to avoid a conflict between these two types of notes.


Use the Convert to Endnote item in the editor’s gear menu to change a footnote into an endnote:

Gear menu for Footnote editor, Convert to Endnote selected

If you want to convert your entire book to use endnotes, select the Convert All menu item. You’ll be asked to confirm your choice with the following prompt:

Note: Converting to endnotes will add an Endnotes element to your book.

Footnotes in Print

In your print edition, footnotes will be positioned at the very bottom of the page that contains the footnote indicator:

In some cases, it is impossible to fit the entire footnote text (especially if it’s very long) on the same page as the indicator. Rather than move the indicator and footnote to the next page, Vellum may split the footnote text across two pages. This prevents large gaps at the bottom of a page.

So that the reader knows that the footnote text is a continuation of a previous footnote, Vellum will use a longer rule to separate it from the main text.

Footnotes in Ebooks

On ebook platforms like Kindle, Apple Books, and Google Play, footnotes are presented as popups, which you can test in Vellum’s Preview:

Popups aren’t available on Nook and on some Kobo devices. When popups aren’t supported, clicking a footnote indicator will take the reader to a list of footnotes at the end of a chapter.