A Beginner's Guide to Obsidian Footnotes in 2023

If you're new to Obsidian and want to take your note-taking skills to the next level, adding footnotes can be an excellent way to enhance your notes' depth and clarity. Whether you're a student, researcher, or writer, Obsidian footnotes can help you organize your information and provide additional context to your notes.

In this beginner's guide, we'll explore the basics of Obsidian footnotes and show you how to use them effectively to improve your note-taking process.

How to Create a Footnote in Obsidian

To create a footnote in Obsidian, simply place the cursor at the end of the sentence where you want to add the footnote and then type the following Markdown syntax:


This will create a footnote at the bottom of the page with the number 1.

You can then add the footnote text to the bottom of the page.

Tips for Creating Effective Footnotes in Obsidian

Here are a few tips for creating effective footnotes in Obsidian:

Use clear and concise language

Your footnote text should be clear and concise. Avoid using jargon or technical language that your readers may not understand.

Use proper citations

If you are using information from another source, be sure to cite your source properly. This will help your readers find the information that you are referring to.

Use footnotes sparingly

Too many footnotes can make your writing look cluttered and unprofessional. Use footnotes only when necessary.

Tips and Tricks for Using Footnotes in Obsidian

Here are a few tips and tricks for using footnotes in Obsidian:

Use automatic footnotes

With Obsidian, you have the option to automatically create footnotes for certain types of content, such as citations and references, which can save you time and effort.

To take advantage of this feature, simply select the text you want to turn into a footnote, then hit the "Create footnote" button. Obsidian will do the rest, generating the footnote and inserting the selected text for you.

Link to other parts of your notes

You can use footnotes to connect to other sections of your notes as well, which can be useful for making cross-references and giving extra information.

To make a link to another part of your notes, just put in the title or page number of the note you want to link to in the "Footnote" field. Then, Obsidian will automatically make the link for you.

Limitations of certain types of content

There are a few limitations to using footnotes in Obsidian. For example, you cannot use footnotes for images or for code blocks.

Advanced features of Obsidian footnotes

You might find these advanced features of Obsidian footnotes to be useful. For instance, you can use footnotes to make a reference list or add citations to your notes.

To take advantage of the advanced features of Obsidian footnotes, just click the "Advanced" button. Then, you'll have access to various extra features.

Examples of Footnotes in Obsidian

Here are a few examples of how you can use footnotes in Obsidian:

  • For citations

Citing sources in your notes can be made easier by using footnotes. This way, you can keep track of where you found your information and add extra details as well.

For instance, when you want to include a quote from a book, you can create a footnote to accompany it. In the footnote, you can include the book's title, the author's name, and the page number that the quote was found on.

  • For cross-references

You can also make cross-references between various parts of your notes with the help of footnotes. This could lead to a more organized and well-connected document, don't you think?

Take a section in your notes for instance, you could add a footnote to it. And within that footnote, you could include the page number of the section you wish to link to. Personally, I find it quite helpful in keeping my notes organized.

  • For additional information

You can also use footnotes to provide additional information in your notes. This can be helpful for explaining concepts or for providing context.

For example, you could create a footnote for a definition that you found in a dictionary. In the footnote, you could provide a more detailed explanation of the definition.

Automating Footnotes in Obsidian

The ability to automate footnotes in Obsidian is one of the standout features of this powerful note-taking app. By using the Obsidian API, I think you can save yourself a lot of time and effort. In my experience, footnotes can be a real hassle to manage, but with the API, you can create a script that does the work for you. Personally, I find this to be a game-changer and a great way to ensure you never miss an important footnote.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to automate footnotes in Obsidian:

  1. Create a new script.
  2. Add the following code to the script:
// This script will automatically generate footnotes for you.

// Get the current note.
var currentNote = vault.getNote();

// Get the current page.
var currentPage = currentNote.getPage();

// Loop through the footnotes on the current page.
for (var i = 0; i < currentPage.footnotes.length; i++) {

    // Get the footnote text.
    var footnoteText = currentPage.footnotes[i].text;

    // Create a new footnote.
    var newFootnote = currentNote.createFootnote(footnoteText);

    // Set the footnote to be visible.
    newFootnote.visible = true;

  1. Save the script.
  2. Run the script.

The script will automatically generate footnotes for all of the notes in your vault. This can save you a lot of time and effort, especially if you use a lot of footnotes in your notes.

Customizing the Appearance of Footnotes in Obsidian

Obsidian allows you to customize the appearance of footnotes in your notes. You can change the font, size, and color of the footnotes. You can also change the position of the footnotes.

To customize the appearance of footnotes in Obsidian, you can use the Obsidian CSS. The CSS allows you to change the look and feel of your notes.

Here is an example of how you can customize the appearance of footnotes in Obsidian:

.footnote {
    font-size: 12px;
    color: black;
    position: bottom;

This CSS will make the footnotes smaller and black. It will also move the footnotes to the bottom of the page.

You can customize the appearance of footnotes in Obsidian to make them look the way you want. This can make your notes more visually appealing and easier to read.

How to use footnotes to create links to other parts of notes

To insert a footnote, put the cursor where you want the footnote to be and type a number, followed by a period. Obsidian will place the footnote at the bottom of the page with the number you typed.

To connect your notes, use the footnote number, followed by a colon, and then the name of the note you want to link to. Obsidian will make the link for you.

Explanation of how footnotes can be used with other Obsidian features for better note-taking

Footnotes can be used with a variety of other Obsidian features to improve your note-taking. For example, you can use footnotes to:

  • Create a table of contents for your notes.
  • Create a list of references for your notes.
  • Create a glossary of terms for your notes.
  • Create a timeline of events for your notes.

By using footnotes, you can create a more organized and easy-to-navigate system for your notes. This can help you to better remember and understand the information you are learning.


In conclusion, Obsidian footnotes can be a powerful tool for organizing your notes and ideas in a more efficient and effective way. By using them properly, you can easily link related information together and create a web of knowledge that is both accessible and easy to navigate. Remember to keep your footnotes concise and meaningful, and to always include a reference link for further reading.

We hope this beginner's guide has been helpful for you in understanding the basics of Obsidian footnotes. If you have any questions or thoughts to share, please leave a comment below. And if you found this article useful, don't forget to share it with your friends and colleagues. Happy note-taking!

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