Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

This proposal is obsoleted by Help:Footnotes. Please see that page for details on how to implement footnotes in practice on Wikipedia.

This is a brief introduction to yet another footnote proposal. Please see other articles listed at the end of this description to understand the context.

Please note that this proposal is not a primary footnoting system proposal. This system is designed to complement other systems which provide automatic numbering by covering articles where automatic numbering does not work properly. The system is also designed to be very easily convertable to automatic numbering if automatic numbering systems improve in future.

Please see Wikipedia:Footnote3 which includes design information which has been reused in this system

How to use

Just choose a one word descriptive name for your reference and put {{mn|<name>|<number>}} at each point where you want the footnote number to be and put notes at the bottom of your document # {{mnb|<name>|<number>}}. See the example below.

The number is the number with which to visually label each link reference; usually the same number will be used for each source.


This is an example of a whole document in wiki format{{mn|myref-25|1}}.
The document has two references to the same note{{mn|myref-25|1}}.


{{mnb|myref-25|1}} and this is a note about the text from page 25
 of a book.  If known, give full reference including title, author, and ISBN.

It is encouraged that references use citation templates such as shown in

Wikipedia:Cite your sources#Citation_templates

Style Recommendations etc.

Please see Wikipedia:Footnote3 for style recommendations about using footnotes. The systems are similar in usage and style should be the same.

Why a new method

The benefits of this method are that

  • even if the number sequences get out of sync, it is easy to work out how to fix it.
  • references occur as a small number in the text which does not disturb the flow of the writing
  • there is no need for manual renumbering as had to be done with previous proposals
  • it is possible to reuse the same footnote twice, critical in tables
  • we continue to use small numbers, but in square brackets making them accessible1.


  • numbering can get out of sequence
  • back links always go to the first link, not the one which was clicked on

See also

  • Wikipedia:Footnote2 - a similar older system which doesn't have semantic references
  • Wikipedia:Footnote3 - a complementary system which provides automatic numbering
  • Wikipedia:WikiProject Fact and Reference Check


^1 If footnotes are too small, then they are difficult for some people to use. See Footnotes (or endnotes) on Web pages, Jukka "Yucca" Korpela, 2003-08-22