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Footnotes Examples

Per the microformats The microformats process this is an Best Practices for Examples Pages page documenting existing real world examples of footnotes and endnotes published on the Web.

The Problem

How should footnotes and endnotes be marked up?


Real-World Examples


  • "Blank Slate" on Daring Fireball uses an ordered list for endnotes, and uses the ID attribute in a list item to link to a specific endnote. Also in the ID attribute is the date of publication, to differentiate footnotes if more than one publication (in this case blog posts) occur on a page.
<div class="footnotes">

  <hr />


     <li id="fn2-2007-03-04">
     <p>It took me six weeks to choose the exact shade of Daring Fireball’s 
     background color, <code>#4a525a</code>. 
     <a href="#fnr2-2007-03-04"  class="footnoteBackLink"  title="Jump back to footnote 2 in the text.">↩</a>





<sup><a href="#_edn4" name="_ednref4" class="enref" id="_ednref4">4</a></sup>

<sup><a href="#_ednref4" name="_edn4" class="enref" id="_edn4">4</a></sup>National 
Institute of Standards and Technology, “Documentary Information Received by NIST,” 
<a href="">
</a>, accessed May 11, 2005.
<div id="footnotes">

  <p><a href="#fn2ref" class="note">2</a><a name="fn2text" id="fn2text"></a>
E. Landells, <em>The Boys’ Own Toymaker: A Practical Illustrated Guide 
to the Useful Employment of Leisure Hours</em> (London: Griffith and Farran, 
1860), vii.</p>


<div id="footnotes">

  <p><sup><a href="#fn3ref" class="note">3</a></sup><a name="fn3text" id="fn3text"></a>
Paula Petrik, “The Paraphernalia of Childhood: Advice on Toys” from 
“Playthings for the Republic’s Children: American Culture, Toys, and the 
Business of Play,” unpublished manuscript.</p>


  • Formatting Footnotes with JavaScript and CSS is a technique by Timothy Groves that displays footnotes inline with text, then hides/displays the note content with JavasCript. Groves uses the following markup structure:
    • This technique is problematic from a microformats perspective for several reasons: numbers are not used, each note does not have a unique ID, and its difficult or impossible to tell the difference between an annotation and the rest of the text without JavaScript and/or CSS.--JeremyBoggs 08:46, 14 Mar 2007 (PDT)
   <p>Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet...<span class="footnote">This is a footnote.</span>...</p>


Existing Practices

Common Patterns Discovered

  • Use of "footnotes" as a class or ID attribute value for differentiating footnote content from the body of the publication.

Publications that discuss footnoting/endnoting on the web

See Also