Create a Keyboard Shortcut for Footnotes in Microsoft Word

Create a Keyboard Shortcut for Footnotes in Microsoft Word

For some reason Microsoft Word 2016 on the Mac does not have a default keyboard shortcut for footnotes. I find it tedious to take my hands off the keyboard, click insert > footnote (yes, it only takes a couple seconds but it really breaks up the flow of writing).

There are a couple solutions to this. The first is to create a keyboard shortcut on the Mac (see steps below). You can create a keyboard shortcut for any app doing this method. The second method is to use Keyboard Maestro, which is a powerful program for creating keyboard shortcuts for just about anything. The nice thing about this app is you can simulate several steps of a process with one keyboard shortcut. I prefer this method most of the time when creating keyboard shortcuts. In Microsoft Word when you go to insert a footnote it then brings up a dialogue box every time asking you how you want it formatted. This is just one more step in the process that the default Mac method cannot simulate. Using Keyboard Maestro I can insert a footnote and click OK on the next dialogue box all with one shortcut. You can download the shortcut here: And here is a screenshot of what it looks like in Keyboard Maestro:

keyboard maestro mw footnote

Default Mac Method

Open System Preferences (Applications > System Preferences) and click on Keyboard

Click Shortcuts

Go to App Shortcuts then click the + sign

  1. Next to Application: find Microsoft Word

  2. Next to Menu Title: type Footnote… (you must include the three periods)

  3. Click in the Keyboard Shortcut: box and set your shortcut

  4. Click Ad

In Microsoft Word you should now see your keyboard shortcut 

Brian Renshaw is pursing a Masters of Divinity at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is currently a member of the Evangelical Theological Society, North American Patristics Society, and the Society of Biblical Literature. His research interests range from the Gospels, Catholic Epistles, history of interpretation, theological interpretation of Scripture, and discourse grammar. Regarding his involvement with the Center for Ancient Christian Studies, Brian serves as Director of Digital Production and is also on the editorial staff. Currently, he attends Sojourn East with his wife, Jen Renshaw. You can follow him on Twitter @renshaw330, he blogs at his personal website.