Fully-automated Complex Layouts with Multi-column Footnotes in InDesign made easy!

Footwork is an InDesign add-on that gives complete control over footnote layout.

With Footwork you can:

  • Set multi-column footnotes on single-column pages, single column footnotes on multi-column pages, and any other combination of columns you choose!
  • New in Version 3: Automatically layout endnotes as footnotes, with all the flexibility that implies!
  • Enjoy great flexibility for footnote numbering! For example, if your document contains multiple stories, each with footnotes, the footnote numbering style and starting number can be set independently for each story. In fact, Footwork footnotes don’t have to be referenced with a number at all. The footnote reference can be anything with a character style applied to it, so you can even create footnotes without visible references in the text, which is sometimes necessary for scholarly works.
  • Set run-on footnotes! (Run-on footnotes do not each begin a new paragraph or line. Instead, each footnote continues on the same line as the previous footnote.)
  • Place footnote references in tables! All table footnotes will appear on the same page as the last row of the table.
  • Enjoy more control and flexibility over how space is allocated between the main text and the footnote text! If you care about the quality of your book layout, you need this…
  • Use any graphic or vector shape or object for the footnote divider!
  • Automate the layout of up to 4 (!) multiple texts per page! (Main text + InDesign’s built-in footnotes with footnote text + ID’s built-in footnotes = 4 texts!)
  • Allow a footnote to begin on a different page than the footnote reference (optional, but useful for texts with very long footnotes)! This avoids the familiar large white gaps that can sometimes appear in InDesign between the main text and the footnotes, usually occurring when two footnote references appear too close together in the main text.

Footwork comes with a clear, concise and comprehensive 29-page, fully illustrated User Guide. It is easy to use, and you’ll be up and running in no time …  and we’re always here to help! (The full User Guide is included in the demo download.)

The following screenshots demonstrate just three of the infinite layout possibilities that are easy to implement with Footwork.

1. Main text in single column. Footnotes in two columns.

2. Main text in two columns. Footnote text in single column. Footnotes to the footnote text. Total: 3 parallel texts.

Sample Layout 1

Layout demonstrating three (3) parallel texts

3. Main text in two columns. Footnotes in single column, run on.

Layout demonstrating run-on footnotes (click to enlarge)

Layout demonstrating run-on footnotes (click to enlarge)

Trial Version and Detailed Instructions

Download a trial version of Footwork by clicking here. Included in the package is a detailed User Guide to help you make the most of Footwork‘s amazing capabilities.

Instant Download

To purchase the full version of Footwork click the “Buy Now” button. Your product and serial numbers will be available for instant download when you complete the purchase.

Money-back Guarantee

If you are not satisfied with Footowork for any reason, simply let us know within 30 days of purchase for a full refund.

“Footwork is a sophisticated, high-end tool ... If you deal with a high volume of footnotes, or your layout requirements cause you to devote hours of work to setting footnotes, I think you will find that Footwork vastly improves the process, and justifies the investment.”

InDesign Magazine review (May 2017, rated 4 /4 butterflies!)

Buy Now

Footwork: $385

For multiple licenses (5 or more), please contact us to arrange a discount.


System Requirements

  • InDesign CS4 or higher (including InDesign 2024)
  • Windows or Mac computer

Trial Download

Click on the button to download a trial version of Footwork, including the full User Guide. The trial version is limited to 15-page documents.

Video Tutorial

Coming soon…

InDesign Magazine Logo

Four Butterfly Rating

“A sophisticated, high-end tool…”
Footwork was reviewed in the May 2017 edition of InDesign Magazine, receiving the maximum 4/4 rating.
Click here to read the full review.

Article Comments

  1. Makrina Oikonomidou

    February 1, 2024 4:48 pm Reply

    Greetings! As I am considering using your service, I would like to know more about your trial period. Could you kindly provide me with detailed information regarding the duration of the trial period? Thank you!

    • Ariel

      February 1, 2024 10:07 pm Reply

      Hi Makrina,
      The trial version is limited to 15-page documents only, but it is not limited in time.

  2. Julia

    December 4, 2023 10:24 pm Reply

    I’m testing out the footwork script on a layout where the text is in two columns and I would like the footnotes to be in two columns as well but balanced across the two columns. Is there any way to do this? I’ve run the Footwork script but it converts the main text two column layout to one single column.

    • Ariel

      December 5, 2023 12:06 am Reply

      Hi Julia,
      Sure, Footwork can definitely do this. Just make sure that the object styles you have applied to the first text frame in the main text and in the footnote text are defined to have 2 columns. The number of columns is a setting in object styles, and Footwork applies the object style of the first frame to all frames in the stories it lays out.
      Does that makes sense?

  3. Corey S

    January 30, 2023 10:03 pm Reply

    Would Footworks allow one to create multi-layers of independent footnotes?
    Meaning, for example:
    Footnote Box I (using a,b,c) would act as a running commentary on the main text.
    Footnote Box II (using 1,2,3) would act as a bibliography for the main text
    Footnote Box III (using א ב ג ) would act to relate scholarly relevant works that support or argue with the main text.

    (ממש דומה למערך דפי משנה ברורה או שלחן ערוך או חומש עם מפרשים שונים)….

    • Ariel

      February 2, 2023 4:50 am Reply

      Unfortunately not.
      Footwork is there to enable multi-column footnotes in InDesign, and/or run-on footnotes. It does allow each text (the main text and the footnote text) to have one additional set of footnotes each (for a maximum of 4 texts), but only if those 2 extra sets of footnotes are simply InDesign’s own built-in footnotes (as per the screenshot above).

  4. Ali H.

    November 24, 2022 9:37 am Reply

    Hi, I couldn’t find any info on how to set up for this feature in user guide:
    “7. Create footnotes nested within your footnote text, for a total of 4 parallel texts on a single page (main text with footnotes + footnote text with footnotes)”
    Can I try this with trial version?

    • Ariel

      December 8, 2022 3:22 am Reply

      Hi Ali,
      You can indeed try this with the trial version.
      Footwork’s footnotes are just another InDesign story. Footwork syncs the main text story with the footnote text story on each page.
      So the way to get 4 parallel texts is simply to add regular InDesign footnotes to the main text and more ID footnotes to the footnote text.
      Of course, these extra footnotes will be regular ID footnotes (i.e., no columns or run-on options).
      Does that make sense?

  5. Yagel

    November 8, 2022 1:00 pm Reply

    is there a way to add a new footnote after detaching the file and the footnote numbers will automatically update?

    • Ariel

      November 8, 2022 1:03 pm Reply

      If you use the new “detach as endnotes” feature, yes. Adding a new footnote, in that case, means adding a new endnote, and the numbering will therefore update automatically.
      Otherwise, you can easily add a new footnote, but you would need to run Footwork’s renumbering function to update the other numbers.

  6. Brad Grigor

    June 3, 2022 7:09 am Reply


    I’m working on a book (INDB) with 40 component INDD documents with over 800 footnotes. Some of these footnotes are *crazy* long and cause InDesign to crash. I can see that Footwork will solve that problem for me. Big thanks for that!

    However, InDesign does not automate the consecutive numbering across the documents in an INDB, i.e. each document’s footnotes “Start at:” 1, unless one manually (and tediously) changes the setting in each document. And then if there are revisions that add or remove footnotes, one must manually correct the “Start at:” numbers again.

    Does Footwork automate this? I can’t find any mention of it in the PDF.

    Thanks so much.

    Cheers and stay well!


    • Ariel

      June 3, 2022 2:45 pm Reply

      Hi Brad,
      Footwork does not have built-in support for InDesign book filed (.indb) unfortunately. So the numbering would need to be manually updated across the files.
      Definitely a good feature request though!

  7. Abdul Basit Qadri

    February 10, 2022 4:29 pm Reply

    Another thing, I mainly work in Arabic script and I use Hindi digits both in reference and footnotes like this:
    Reference: (۱) or ؂۱ in superscript.
    Footnote: (۱) or ؂۱ in Normal.
    I think there will be no issue doing this with Footwork ?

    • Ariel

      February 11, 2022 12:44 am Reply

      Essentially, Footwork supports numbering with Hindi digits, but it hasn’t been tested much, so I can’t say for sure.
      I would recommend downloading the trial and testing.
      I’d be interested to know how it goes!

  8. Abdul Basit Qadri

    February 4, 2022 12:38 pm Reply

    1. Does it run offline? As we often have network outage.
    2. can I run it on both of my MacBook Pro and iMac?

    • Ariel

      February 4, 2022 3:45 pm Reply

      Hi Abdul,
      (1) Sure, it runs offline. The initial activation does require you to be online, but that is only necessary the first time you use the script.
      (2) If both your MacBook and iMac are connected to the same Adobe CC account then yes, you will be able to run it on both computers.

      • Abdul Basit Qadri

        February 10, 2022 1:11 pm Reply

        Hi Ariel,
        First I read the PDF manual and I haven’t used it yet, but I think it should be used after inserting footnotes and completing all the editing in the document.
        I’ve also a question, is there any option to roll back the changes in a document made by Footwork and go to normal indesign layout?

        • Ariel

          February 10, 2022 2:03 pm Reply

          As much as possible, yes, it’s best to do the editing while you’ve still got live footnotes. That makes it easier if you need to cut and paste text, add a footnote, delete, etc.
          All these things are possible with Footwork to, but they take more care, since the footnotes are detached from the text.
          Once you’ve used Footwork to detach the footnotes, there’s no way of “reattaching” them, no.
          However, having said all that, one technique people use is not to use Footwork’s “detach” function at all, but to convert the footnotes to endnotes. That way the notes are in a separate story, which Footwork can use (one or two things to set up there in the layers panel to make it work), but they’re still “live”, meaning that if you copy-paste some main text to somewhere else, the endnotes will follow along. And it’s a little easier to insert or delete a new note (although this is perfectly possible with Footwork as well).

  9. Jan Koch

    January 10, 2022 3:07 pm Reply

    Hi, I would like to test your footwork extension for indesign but the trial download seems broken.
    Would it be possible to fix that?
    thanks a lot

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