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Is there any way to do a footnote in Excel 97?

Posted by Cheryl Fowler on December 10, 2001 11:42 AM

I work for a law firm and attorneys always want us to do something that seems impossible. Is there any way to insert a footnote in an Excel 97 worksheet?

Posted by Damon Ostrander on December 10, 2001 12:34 PM

Hi Cheryl,

It depends on what you mean by a footnote. If you mean being able to automatically insert a superscript number or other character within text in a cell and then have a textbox automatically open in which you type your footnote text which Excel then automatically places at the bottom of the current page, no, Excel has no built-in ability to do this. This capability could be nearly duplicated via a VBA macro however.

On the other hand, it is easy to insert a "footnote" manually, i.e., add a superscripted number to a cell's text, and add what appears to be a footnote to a cell at the bottom of the page. You will have to manually ensure that the footnote numbering is consecutive. To get the superscript, just select (highlight) the specific number or text in the formula bar, then go to Format -> Cells, and on the Font tab under Effects check the Superscipt checkbox.

To determine where the bottom of the page is so you can position the footnotes there, go to View -> Page Break Preview.

Happy litigating.


Posted by Mike C on December 10, 2001 12:56 PM

If you're as lucky as I usually am, then they're going to ask how to make a footnote on a number in a column/row of numbers that they want to do arithmetic on (sum, etc). Inserting the superscript chr not only throws off the formatting of the number, but renders it useless for calculations.

In this case, use the drawing menu to create a text box (with no lines) that has the desired superscript number in an appropriately sized font. Position the text box where you want it and it will appear to be a footnote...yet, the underlying number will retain all of its formatting and be usable for calculations.

Posted by Cheryl Fowler on December 11, 2001 7:21 AM

Damon - Thanks for the VBA hint. Could you enlighten me. The fake footnote thing really doesn't work for me.


Posted by Damon Ostrander on December 11, 2001 12:30 PM

Hi Cheryl,

I'm emailing you a workbook containing an example of what I mean. This is easier than trying to explain it with words.

"A workbook is worth a thousand words" -- Anon.