A mode to insert footnotes in texts and messages. footnote.el is included in Emacs 21 and a XEmacs package is available.


 (autoload 'footnote-mode "footnote" nil t)
 ;; Example for Gnus. If you use an other mailer you will replace the hook with the appropriated hook of your mailer.
 (add-hook 'message-mode-hook 'footnote-mode)

Finding FootnoteMode Commands

There are a number of modes where C-c ! doesn’t work. But I always forget the names of the functions. Using auto-complete doesn’t help because all of the commands, except footnote-mode itself begin with a Uppercase F.

  - Footnote-add-footnote
  - Footnote-back-to-message
  - Footnote-cycle-style		   
  - Footnote-delete-footnote
  - Footnote-goto-footnote		   
  - Footnote-narrow-to-footnotes
  - Footnote-renumber-footnotes	   
  - Footnote-set-style

So remember all of these commands begin with a capital F. I have forgotten this a dozen times and it drives me nuts…


I looked at the Xemacs package and it doesn’t seem like the package has any way to read in a buffer and initialize the set of footnotes. This means you can edit footnotes in a single editing session, but if you close the file and reopen it, footnote mode will be badly bollixed up. That seems unfortunate. But I may have an old version of the code.
Still correct. The current version of the package (from a Dec 2008 CVS of Emacs 23) starts numbering afresh each time. There is however a fix for this, and some code for Muse (description and latest known version) that lets you use footnotes with named references instead of numbers, which eliminates the need for renumbering. The code doesn’t manage auto-insertion of footnotes like footnote.el. It just converts the referenced (=named) footnotes to numbered footnotes automatically just before a Muse export. Perhaps it could be made to work in other modes (org-mode) which currently rely on numbered footnotes?

Other Implementations of Footnoting

For longer documents which might incur multiple edits, org mode has a robust footnote mode. [1]