Various foot- and endnote tools

Several scripts here to manage footnotes: convert footnotes to (dynamic) endnotes or margin notes; convert footnotes to column-spanning footnotes; set footnotes in columns; inline notes; and managing the space between main text and ID's footnotes.

Convert footnotes to endnotes, column notes, or margin notes

InDesign does just one type of note: footnotes (not counting what is called 'note' in InDesign, i.e. the sticky notes). This arsenal can be expanded by some scripts. Several scripts described here implement a method outlined by Peter Gold (in InDesign's user-to-user forum) and described in detail by Bob Bringhurst (see his blog; see also IndesignSecrets.com). The method is simple: create a paragraph style for the endnotes and enable numbering in it; create a character style that sets the format for the note references; and add a cross-reference format that defines just a paragraph's number. Then at the location of the note reference, create a cross-reference to the endnote.

The method outlined by Peter Gold is simple and elegant, but labour-intensive if you want to convert all footnotes in a document or when you've placed in InDesign an MS Word document that contains a lot of endnotes which you want to convert to dynamic endnotes. The scripts make this task easy.

Recently, however, like some other people, I've been bitten by some issues to do with cross-references. One issue is that cross-references cannot practically be used in books because updating them is terribly slow. Another problem is that when something goes wrong with cross-references, the document is difficult to repair. I've spent several hours fixing cross-reference problems in a few of my own documents but also in documents of some other people. The scripts in the first section, "Footnotes and columns", and the script to do end-of-book notes, use a non-dynamic method; the one in "Footnotes to endnotes" does create dynamically numbered notes.


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Footnotes and columns

For reasons mentioned earlier I've become a bit more careful with cross-references, now preferring methods without them if there is a reasonable alternative. The scripts in this section describe footnote solutions that do seem to me to be reasonable alternatives. The numbering is semi-automatic in that the notes themselves are numbered automatically using numbered lists (this is convenient and unproblematic), but the note references are updated using a simple script. An added bonus is that these scripts can be used in CS3, too, unlike the cross-reference scripts, which work only in CS4 and later.

Footnotes to endnotes

The script described here converts a document's footnotes to dynamically numbered endnotes using cross-references.

Footnotes to end-of-book notes

Document footnotes are converted to end-of-book notes.

Footnotes to margin notes

Convert InDesign's footnotes to marginal notes. Several placement options are available.

Endnotes to footnotes

Convert endnotes (both static and dynamic) to InDesign's (dynamic) footnotes.

Static endnotes to dynamic endnotes

Static endnotes can be converted to dynamic endnotes.

Adding and deleting notes: managing cross-references

The scripts described on these pages all make use of cross-referencing for their numbering. Here we give a brief overview of how to deal with these cross-references and show how to delete and add notes, and how to restart numbering.

Inline footnotes

Indesign can't set several notes on one line. The method described here (due to David Goodrich) and the script that automates the method are an easy fix. (Unlike the other scripts on this page, the inline script doesn't use cross-references.)

Footnote spacing

Adjust the space between main text and single footnotes. InDesign's setting for the space between the text and the first footnote on a page is document-wide, which is too confining.


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