How do I format a footnote anchor?

I want to use a footnote anchor style such as this:


with a minimal separation between my text and the anchor; with automatically inserting the [ and ] before and after the footnote anchor, and in superscript size.

The superscript part is easy to format with the Footnote Anchor style already provided. But no the other requirements.

Is it possible? If so, how do I achieve it?

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I do not know if it is possible to insert [ ]. However you can achieve the desired effect with parentheses and Graphite font effects.

Edit Footnote Anchor (character style):

  • Font tab▸Font: Linux Libertine G:circ=2
  • Borders tab set Left & Right Borders OnlyColor: WhiteWidth: Increase the value as necessary to obtain the desired spacing (e.g. 0.10 pt in FootNote.odt).


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In fact, it is not possible to have any kind of brackets around the footnote/endnote anchor. The Linux Libertine G (it also works with with Linux Biolinum G) “circ” option is for now the only workaround available.

Thanks, @pierre-yves-samyn, but I didn’t mean footnote decoration.

@pierre-yves-samyn Besides the fact that your solution is great and I thank you a lot, I would love to understand what is that “G:circ=2”, close to the font name. How does it work? Could you explain it, please?

Thank you @celiapgt for feedback. I am not a specialist in fonts. I have already given the link to the documentation. I invite you to download the source document (ODF) given on this site. It contains examples and instructions.


Hi. I just tried successfuly this option, but I have to report that it only works up to number 20. Afterwards, 21 will be rendered as (2)(1) and so on.

@arturoea Indeed. You know, workarounds are never perfect, otherwise they would be solutions :wink:

Those kind of “tricks” only work for small numbers: you need to either count footnotes by chapter (numbering will restart each time a level 1 heading is used) or by page.

Your requirement is not fully clear, but it may be a matter of vocabulary.

Footnotes (and Endnotes with the corresponding styles) are controlled by one paragraph style, two character styles and one parameter setting dialog.

  • Paragraph style Footnote:
    controls the appearance of text in the note paragraph at the bottom of the page
  • Character style Footnote Anchor:
    controls the appearance of the anchor in the main text (where you inserted the note). The anchor character may be chosen when you insert the note with InsertFootnote/Endnote... but no fancy decoration may be added to the anchor.
  • Character style Footnote Characters:
    controls how the anchor is rendered at the beginning of the note paragraph at the bottom of the page.

In addition to the above styles, general notes settings allow you to slightly adapt the notes presentation to your needs. You do that through ToolsFootnotes/Endnotes.... There are separate settings for footnotes and endnotes.

  • The upper half contains what you are looking for: text boxes Before and After may be filled with text which will be inserted before and after the anchor in the note paragraph at the bottom of the page.

Note that theses insertions will not be done on the anchor in the main text and there is no way to change the anchor there.

  • The lower half is dedicated to the various notes-related styles should you be in the fancy of changing them.

If this answers your questions, please accept it by clicking on the check mark at left and close your question for community benefit. If you think the answer has some value, upvote it.

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@ajlittoz, You are right. Vocabulary was lousy on my side. I’m sorry.
Yes, I meant footnote anchors, not footnotes. So I cannot add fancy decoration, such as:

text text text[12] text
[12] Footnote number 12

Thanks, @pierre-yves-samyn, but I didn’t mean footnote decoration. My fault for the confussion.

No problem @celiapgt - However what I propose to you can get this (which is very close to what you ask):

text text text (12) text
[12] Footnote number 12

Thanks, @ajlittoz, for your kind and thorough answer, but I can achieve what I need with @pierre-yves-samyn’s answer.

Thanks, @ajlittoz, but I didn’t mean footnote decoration.

A workaround to achieve what the OP is asking, i.e. footnote anchor in square brackets like this [1], is to use the Alternative dialog Find & Replace for Writer (AltSearch) Add-on:

  • Open the addon and in the “Search for:” field enter "[::Footnote::]" (without quotes)

  • In the “Replace” field enter " [&]" (without quotes: notice the space before the opening bracket in case your footnote anchors are attached to the previous char)

ATTENTION: each replace ‘consumes’ an undo step so the change might be irreversible, better save your file before proceeding!

  • Make sure “Regular Expressions” checkbox is selected

  • Hit “Replace All”

Alternative Find and Replace dialog

  • Now you should have all footnotes anchors surrounded by square brackets

image description

  • to remove the superscript style, edit the “Footnote Anchor” style and set the Position to “Normal” in the Position tab.

Here is a simple test document which also has the footnote paragraph at the end, also featuring square brackets:

Still a workaround… but at least gets the job done.
Hope this helps.

Although I am very late answering, your solution provides a good way yo fix the problem. Thank you very much, @lorenzosu!