Those pesky footnotes

First: kudos for V2. It really is lovely and does not ruin this terrific program. That’s always the fear come upgrade time.

BUT: exporting footnotes is not yet pretty. The only way to get footnotes into Word (alas, one must) is to export to RTF then open the file. That works fine. BUT the footnotes and their reference markers are all in normal style–superscript and smaller for the references, smaller for the type. But if one uses styles (alas, one must) then one has to go thru and manually change each footnote and each reference (twice–once in text, once in notes area.) Is there no way around this?

The only thing I can think of is to make the reference in one bizarre font–herculanum say, and the footnote in Blackmoor Let or something, and then do a global change : everything that is in herculanum change to footnote reference style; everything in Blackmoor Let change to footnote style. But that is definitely a kludge. Is there no better way?

Thanks, though, for this splendid tool.


Unfortunately Scrivener doesn’t support styles at this time (and it will probably be 3.0 or even 4.0 before it does because it is a massive job), so I don’t think there’s an easy way of doing this. Obviously you can choose which font footnotes get exported in via the Compile options, but markers do use the current font.

All the best,

I don’t want you to have to write a whole application for styles.
Could there be an override for the references though so I could do the kind of substitution I propose? Selecting and changing those little buggers is HARD.
Thanks for your reply.


I don’t use Word. However, NeoOffice (and probably its near twins OpenOffice and Libre Office) has a way to change all styles, including font and font size, I think. I had to use this for another problem (not related to Scrivener): I wanted to edit my MS as an rtf file, but the final version needed to be submitted as .doc, and needed small caps in certain places. My rtf editor (Bean) does not have a small caps style. I put Bold Italic everywhere I needed small caps, then changed Bold Italic to small caps at the last minute in NeoOffice and then saved as .doc before sending out the MS. Can you do something like this?

A warning, it is very easy in NeoOffice to confuse the bold (or italic) font with the bold (or italic) style applied to the generic font. You need to use the latter if you want to share nice with people using Windows.

A second warning, I don’t think that there are any programs (other than Word) that really grok .docx files on the Mac–use .rtf or .doc.


Just noticed that I have exactly the same problem:

I love Scrivener but have to use footnotes. Some kind of fix would be wonderful.


There’s nothing to fix here. Scrivener doesn’t support styles - it’s not a bug, just something that isn’t a feature and is unlikely to be before 3.0 or 4.0.

Right. It’s not broken. I was wondering about a “feature,” not a fix. As it stands now, Scrivener 2 recognizes a a field, let’s call it, for footnotes. I know this because I can set the font to be something particular (Papyrus regular, 14 point) when I export.

Something is generating those superscript numbers that are applied to the footnote field. I want the ability to change the subscript numbers’ font too. That’s all. Based on my professional expertise in something utterly unconnected, this seems like it should be feasible.

The reason for the request is that IF I had the reference numbers in a distinct font, then in any word processor I could do a global search and replace to apply a style to text/characters with that font attribute.

Yeah yeah, I know: bells and whistles. But in this case it would allow us to avoid the extremely extremely tedious process of manually changing every tiny raised number to another style (footnote reference) by hand, and for humanities writers, this would be a BIG deal.

So IF it’s easily implementable, as my irrelevant training suggests would be the case, then perhaps you could plug it in?

Thanks for considering this.
Kevin (not Keith)

Hmm. I think I withdraw my request. It seems that when you go through all the rigamarole of exporting Scrivnerings to rtf, opening rtf with word, then saving as docx, the footnote marker is “live,” that is, a rollover shows the “tip” with the content of the note. But it is in style “normal”, just modified to be superscript and tiny.

But, as someone pointed out in another thread, word DOES recognize it as a “footnote marker” so, using advanced search and replace, you can change all footnote markers to style footnote reference (Microsoft is always so consistent, don’t you find?).

That solves my problem. So ignore all previous blatherings.
Thank you.

This is what was confusing me because when you export to RTF, Scrivener creates “real” RTF footnotes. In fact, Scrivener doesn’t insert the numbered markers at all for RTF export, because that’s not how it works - the RTF just says, “This is a footnote that should use such-and-such-a-style,” and leaves it to the word processor to generate the markers. The RTF looks something like this:

Some regular text. {\footnote A footnote.}

Then, when opened in a word processor, that becomes:

Some regular text.1

1. A footnote.

So the marker being “live” and treated as a footnote marker is entirely down to the word processor opening the file.

Anyway, glad you found a solution.


All the best,

(Microsoft is always so consistent, don’t you find?)


That in the style section it is called by M$ “footnote reference” and in the advanced search function it is called “footnote marker.”


Ah, got you. Had me confused there. :slight_smile:
All the best,

Concur. It’s difficult to imagine writing my next book on Scrivener if I have to go back and change up to a thousand footnotes manually.

Most people don’t need to do that, but obviously you should choose the tool that works best for you.
All the best,


If you check my posts in this thread, you’ll see that they have an account (drawn mostly from others’ posts) on how to solve our problem. Compile the footnotes in a distinctive font. In Micro$oft Weird do a global change so that everything in that font is changed to footnote text style. Then change all “footnote markers” (select from characters at the bottom of the replace menu) to style “footnote reference.”

You could write an applescript to do this, or, with the return of macros, write a macro.

This means you CAN compose your magnum opus with its thousands of footnotes in Scrivener.

Kevin (not Keith)

It is simpler yet:

Seems to me that you could skip the make-footnote-text-a-weird-font move here and simplify the procedure. When you get to Word you just need to do these two things:

  1. Open the footnotes pane (i.e. expose the footnotes while /not/ in page layout view), select-all down there and impose the footnote text style. Done with this.

  2. Now, search-and-replace on the entire document to find the footnote markers and impose footnote reference style on them. (This should fix the reference assignments in the text and in the footnotes area itself.)

This way, there is nothing special you need to do in Scrivener beforehand to achieve the desired result.


P.S. One wonders why Word’s RTF import routine doesn’t automatically assign the styling for footnote text and references when countervailing styling info is not specifically indicated on those elements in the RTF file. Kind of lame.

I have found that global changes in Weird are very unreliable. Also if you select “all” then you would still have to do a global find/replace for footnote markers.


Just a question on importing footnotes into Scrivener: When I try to import either RTF or DOC files to Scrivener, the footnotes are either discarded or they are set in plain text at the end of the text, with the anchor as a standard number.

Is there any way to preserve imported footnotes as footnotes? I tried the preferences (Import/Export - Include inline footnotes etc.), but to no effect.


Export your Scrivener files as rtf. Then open in Word, save as docx. You’ll have real footnotes, just with the wrong styles. That’s what all the stuff above in this thread is about.