Endnotes and footnotes, what's possible, what's not (as of Q4 '21)


lots of practical questions come up, while using Libreoffice Writer, about footnotes and endnotes… and users like me always just focus on what they want at the moment…
this is why I’m trying to aks a couple of questions, so that we could have a clearer understanding…


as to the THE HELP PAGE: (link)
I know it is hard work, still, there are some minor “flaws” to be corrected…
the style for H2 (which the “Footnotes” and “Endnotes” headings have in this page) are NOT significantly bigger than the H3… so, one has to look for the heading: “Endnotes” within the many similar looking H3 headings…

The footnotes section starts straight off with this:
“Collect at end of text”, which is totally not true

sure, it is, when the text is shorter than 1 full page :slight_smile: :slight_smile: but in any other cases, it collects at the end of the page… and you know what, when it is shorter than 1 full page, it still collects at the end of the page :slight_smile: which happens to be the end of the text, too

now, this false statement can undermine any attempt to understand how these 2 behave…
starting with that footnotes can be OPTIONALLY made to collect at the end of the entire document… (which might include several documents)

Q1: if we want to get the numbers restart at the end of each CHAPTER…
(say, a chapter is a SECTION, which has a document linked in the “main document” which doesn’t have to be a “master document”)

can we do that?

using footnotes with the OPTION to collect at the end of the entire document?

using endnotes?


say, we have a big document (more than 2 pages, including more than 1 document),
can we have a separator between the chapters’ endnotes in the “endnote block”?
w/out restarting the numbering?


endnote 1,
endnote 2,

endnote n
::: end of chapter 1 :::
endnote n+1 (or 1 if it is opted to restart numbering)
endnore n+2 (or 2)



can the endnote “page”, that ism, the endnotes be copied and pasted into a new document? Say, someone wants to print a book, and wants to format and stylize the endnotes… those pages directly… adding separators, headings, etc?


can the endnotes / footnotes collected at the end of the whole of the document be exported? similarly to exporting the TOC?


can a document be printed / exported as PDF without the endnotes?
and without the workaround (to define a lesser number than the whole number of all pages including the endnotes?)

If one could see all these answers together, would surely gain a good understanding of the behavior of these two fairly complex elements of our documents…

thanks in advance!


Notes numbers can be restarted only for footnotes. Endnotes will always be numbered monotonically.

In addition, to avoid ambiguity on numbers, numbers can be restarted only for footnotes at end of page. This restriction comes from the fact the note numbers cannot be “decorated” with field insertion as you can do for pages in TOC or Index. There is no way to add chapter information. When notes are globally collected at end of document, you could end up with duplicate numbers, not knowing to which anchor they refer.

Your only option is to position your notes at end of page.

There is no provision for “end of chapter” because “end of chapter” may occur in the middle of a page with the next chapter beginning immediately after.


The trick is to add an endnote to the chapter heading with Insert>Footnote & Endnote>Footnote or Endnote so that you can access the options. Choose a space character for the note anchor.


With difficulty.

If your separators or headings are associated with “logical” breaks in your document, you can use the previous trick (space note anchor) to add arbitrary text in the endnotes. These paragraphs can then be styled with ad hoc paragraph and character styles to override the defaults.


I don’t see the purpose. And I never “exported” a TOC yet. A TOC is normally automatically generated from information in the document (Heading n paragraphs) and it exists only when the document exists. If you remove the document, the TOC is emptied on update.


Apart from entering the last page number in the export dialog, I don’t see any other solution.

thank you so much!!!

you know, it makes such a difference to know what’s possible and what’s not :slight_smile:
also, to understand the whole concept…
this text should be part of LO W help


as to exporting the TOC… or the endnotes
if you can get a text off your TOC that is being generated in real time,
you can do anything with it…
which comes extremely handy when working with a long text

the endnotes:
the notes can be a whole new work, parallel to you text…

don’t only think of simple references… like adding a name or a link, or a number…
in come cases you’ll write entire “paragraphs”… enjoying that it’s not going to sow down the reading, still will be available for the reader…
that is, you can go into further depths

all in all, you’ll end up editing it as an independent text…
keeping the sync is the key, sure…
but you should be able to handle the notes independently…

one simple usage of this would be sectioning the notes…
by chapters…
inserting headings… like “chap 4”,
and other ones, at h2, h3 level, too

it is understood that once you do such structuring and formatting, the whole system of the endnotes which stands upon using a class, will collapse…

so, the direct linking (as it is today) is good, and should remain the basis…
however, once you have the endnotes section… it’d be great to handle it independently, too…

anyway, thank you very much!


I agree with you that notes can also contain a “parallel” text. I am presently reading a book with a structure like the one your describe: a main part and an annexes part where the annexes have the same general outline with same headings as the main part.

This of course can’t be done with the present note feature. However, you can do it “manually” with cross-references. You write your note-annex part with standard Heading n. Remember that chapter numbering is nothing but a (usage-specific) ordinary list. You can therefore restart chapter number to get the same numbering as in the main part.

You can alternatively fully cross-reference the headings in the note-annex part so that you don’t write them manually and any change in the main part is automatically forwarded (which means chapters without notes need not be present in the annex and numbering will be correctly reflected). In this case don’t use Heading n but derived types (to avoid numbering) which you attach to an outline number (to collect them in the TOC).

In both cases, you reference note-annex paragraphs in the main part with a cross reference. All you need to do is to create your own counter (a list style – bad name!) to define your own sequence. And since everything is manual, the number may be in <chap_number>-<note_number> form.