Footnotes: How Do They Work?

You’ll notice that pretty much all of my posts have footnotes. Some people don’t care for them; I love them. They don’t work in RSS (though you can see the note inline). I have no idea if they work on mobile devices1 They do work on my Android devices. They do work in browsers, so that works for me.

Recently I’ve had new readers tell me they don’t quite get the footnotes because they don’t care for scrolling. Let me explain how they work on your end.

First, I should note that I got the plugin a long time ago and you can grab it from here: WordPress Footnotes. It’s not my footnote. I saw it somewhere once and went hunting for it. I thank the plugin developer with all my heart.

I add the footnotes inline and they appear on the browser as numbered links. You don’t need to scroll to the bottom of the page and back again. You can do two things:

  1. Click on the number. That will pop you down to the footnote. To get back where you were, click the little arrow to the right of the note.
  2. Hover your mouse over the number2. The hover text is the note. Try it now3.

So, why did I write this and make it a page?

I’m hoping that people will see this and stop bitching about my footnotes. I talk in parenthesis and know that if I constantly add them that will annoy me when I’m re-reading4. Most of the time my footnotes have no other value than a throw-away line. But I’m not going to stop using them until they’re no longer compatible with my blog platform. And then I might recode the plugin myself so it is compatible.

Hope that helps.

  1. Phones, tablets, iPads, etc. []
  2. This option will not work on you Android device. []
  3. Similar to when you hover over an image and see the alt text. []
  4. God knows I don’t proofread before clicking publish. I’ve got to do it when the page is live. I’ll probably never stop doing that either. []