When you’re writing a document that could be seen by a large number of people (and maybe even professionals), using footnotes is a good idea. There is a lot of debate about what their main purpose is and when you should use them but we think it’s down to you. We’re going to be telling you what these are, how they can be used in a document as well as how you can use Open Office to create them. By the end of this article, you should know everything you need to know about footnotes.
The first thing we want to talk about is what they actually are, which is something a lot of people probably don’t know. Footnotes are normally inserted at the bottom of a page in a report or document, containing extra information that cannot be inserted into the main body or needs to remain separate for various different reasons. In professional technical reports, it can be used to cite sources and resources that were used to write the document as a way of giving credit, whereas other people might instead use it to simply explain points further that were given in the page. You can use them for whatever you want really though.
Now that you know what a footnote is, I think it’s time to explain how you can actually use them. The obvious thing you need to do initially is to load up Open Office and go into the Writer tool, which is what you will be using to create your report or document. You can then insert one by going into Insert –> Footnote/Endnote, where you’ll be presented with numerous different options which you need to select from. Let’s talk about them briefly so that you know what they mean:
- Automatic – By selecting this option, the numbering part will be taken care of for you meaning that you won’t have to manually put numbers next to each piece of information or each source in your footnote. We recommend that you enable this unless you want to do it yourself for whatever reason.
- Character – If you don’t want it to be done automatically, you can instead choose this option which will let you use any character you want instead. Note that this will be a static character and isn’t like a number, although it could be a lot better for some people depending on the document that is being produced.
- Type – This must be set to Footnote and not Endnote for the purpose of this article. You can choose to use an endnote if you want to, but this is something we’re going to cover in a later and separate article so that you’re much more aware of the differences between them. For now, stick to what we’ve been discussing in this article.
In conclusion, using footnotes can be a great idea if you’re writing a technical report which requires you to list the sources you’ve used. This is very important, you need to give credit where it is due and this is just one of the ways our office suite tries to make things easy for you. It gives you the ability to simply enter them in the format you want within seconds, even handling the numbering for you if you want it to. This is a revolutionary piece of software that really is worth installing, so if you haven’t used our Open Office download yet then you really are missing out on a lot of features and functionality.