Here is a WordPress plugin that I had almost forgot about only to “rediscover” it during an upgrade of WordPress. The main reason being that it is a drop in replacement for Rochus Wolff Endnotes plugin which I didn’t realized that I had replaced. The main difference is that the drop in replacement don’t need any hacking done to wp-include/functions.php and has a simpler implementation.

Another difference is Footnotes lack of options. There is simply none. The plugin create a single type of footnote on each page that contain them, linking the note number to jump between citation and reference.1

I’ve just visited a blog other than mine that is using this plugin and realized that I might have to make the IDs (for the linking) a tad more unique. You see, I’ve only used this for footnotes inside posts, after the <--more--> jump, making the IDs unique to the post but not if included on the home page or any of the archive and category pages. A new version (version 1.3) will be available later today, stay tuned.

The current version of the plugin (version 1.3), and all previous version, produce invalid HTML. An updated version of the plugin will be released as soon as possible.


  • Only working in the QuickTag editor.


This plugin is compatible with WordPress 2.0 and above.


The latest version (version 1.4) of the plugin can be downloaded as


  1. Download the archive.
  2. Unpack the zip archive into your WordPress plugins directory.
  3. Activate the plugin in the WordPress administrator panel.


To embed footnote in blog posts, enclose the footnote in <footnote></footnote> tags.


  • 1.2: Initial public release.
  • 1.3: Footnote IDs are now unique to the blog.
  • 1.4: (Bug fix) Generates valid HTML. (Feature) Added a footnote class to the superscript element.

More plugins and widgets…

For more tasty stuff, explore the Plugin, Widget and WordPress topics.

1 You can see it in action here as well as in real life in a post from a year ago. As you can see the horizontal ruler element is styled.

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  1. Posted March 15, 2007 at 01:48 | Permalink

    Hello, Dahnielson. Love the idea and execution of this plug-in. I tried downloading, but did not get a .zip folder. Instead, I merely ended up with the download of a single file – dahnielson_footnotes.php.

    Any suggestions would be eagerly welcome!

  2. Posted March 15, 2007 at 01:57 | Permalink

    That’s weird. Did you try download it using the links in post above or via I just downloaded the ZIP archive to be sure and it worked A-OK for me.

    You should get an archive named containing a dahnielson_footnotes directory holding the dahnielson_footnotes.php file.

  3. Posted March 15, 2007 at 07:58 | Permalink

    Weird, indeed. Had used the links above. Tried again with FireFox and it worked. Looks like it’s related to Safari.

    Thanks, Anders.

  4. Posted March 15, 2007 at 11:07 | Permalink

    great plugin, i got one simple idea for improving – give the number the title – e.g. first 200 chars of the text w/o html

    and one more configurable idea – would be nice if it could automaticaly made footnotes of any link – so you could e.g. print the article and see links in the bottom (or enywhere else)

  5. Posted March 15, 2007 at 13:23 | Permalink

    I’ve now prefixed the footnote ID with the blog post ID making it unique to the whole blog.

    About links as footnotes for print: Since those footnotes would only be useful when printing, and not for online view, it wouldn’t be appropriate adding such functionality to this plugin. Those printing problems is better solved with stylesheets and/or unobtrusive JavaScript. See for example “Going to Print” and other print related ALA articles for ideas.

  6. Posted March 19, 2007 at 14:49 | Permalink


    I’ve installed your plugin in my test site, and it works great.

    When I open a post with footnotes in TinyMCE (or whatever that horrid default WYSIWYG editor in WordPress is) the footnotes turn into capital letters and go away.

    I’m wondering, is there a way to format the fottnotes? Often, footnotes are smaller font size, and they tend to look good that way.

    Anyway, love your plugin!

  7. Posted March 19, 2007 at 15:30 | Permalink

    The footnotes do not work with the WYSIWYAG by design, only the QuickTag editor. One reason being that the original plugin used the <footnote> ta (and I did not want to go through all old posts that used that format and modify them to something else at the time).

    However, I have lately been thinking about how to mark up them with proper valid HTML in posts that will be valid without the plugin activated.

    By styling footnotes do you mean the actual footnote at the bottom of the page or the note number in the main text? You can style them with CSS already, but I will probably add some class names to the elements to make is easier.

    BTW, I just realized that the plugin contain a horrible bug (horrible because it makes me look like a doofus) that makes it output invalid HTML. So I will release a new version later today anyway.

  8. Posted March 20, 2007 at 17:40 | Permalink

    Version 1.4 released fixing the bug and adding a class to the superscript for improved styling with CSS (there’s already IDs that can also be used for styling).

  9. Posted April 12, 2007 at 18:10 | Permalink


    I’m running wordpress 2.1.2 and just tried the plugin. I added footnote tags to a section of the post, but the site just ignored the tags. I added the tags in the plain editor, not the WYSIWYG editor.. am I missing something?

  10. Posted April 12, 2007 at 18:36 | Permalink

    perhaps I posted too soon. I edited my test post and it showed up.

  11. David
    Posted April 25, 2007 at 08:42 | Permalink

    Excellent works just as you designed and said…. Thx…

  12. Posted September 15, 2007 at 20:38 | Permalink

    Is this working in 2.2? I just installed it and tried it and it did not work. There are probably a number of things I may have done wrong.

    I had it working fine a while ago in a pre2.0 version of wordpress. When it does work, it is a GREAT PLUGIN!

  13. Posted September 15, 2007 at 22:14 | Permalink

    I’m currently running WP 2.2.2 (yep, my upgrade is a week overdue) and as demonstrated by the footnote in this post (and the one I linked to in the footnote itself) the plugin do work with the 2.2 series.

  14. Posted September 15, 2007 at 22:47 | Permalink

    OK … I’m going to try it again now…

    Hey, it worked! There was some formatting in the footnote last time … that I then removed. Maybe that was the problem.

    I love the plugin! Great job…

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