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Gatsby Remark Footnotes Plugin



This is a Gatsby Remark plugin that aims to customize the text and style of footnotes in case you want to adhere to the Wikipedia style, ^, front of the footnote-type link.


With npm:

npm install --save gatsby-remark-footnotes

or with yarn, if that’s more your style:

yarn add gatsby-remark-footnotes

Example config

// In gatsby-config.js
plugins: [
    resolve: `gatsby-transformer-remark`,
    options: {
      plugins: [
          resolve: `gatsby-remark-footnotes`,
          options: {
            footnoteBackRefPreviousElementDisplay: "inline",
            footnoteBackRefDisplay: "inline",
            footnoteBackRefInnerText: "^", // Defaults to: "↩"
            //use if you want the Wikipedia style ^ link without an underline beneath it
            footnoteBackRefAnchorStyle: `text-decoration: none;`,
            //use "front" for Wikipedia style ^ links
            footnoteBackRefInnerTextStartPosition: "front",
            useFootnoteMarkerText: false // Defaults to false

Plugin Options: in-depth

footnoteBackRefPreviousElementDisplay: the “previous” element is always a <p> tag. Change the CSS display property of it with this prop. Can be omitted if you prefer to not change the display property from the block default, or you have a stylesheet overriding the default already.

footnoteBackRefDisplay: the footnote “back ref” refers to the <a> tag that can be clicked on to bring a user back to the footnote they originated from. Set both this and footnoteBackRefPreviousElementDisplay to inline to have them appear side-by-side. Can be omitted, same as above.

footnoteBackRefInnerText: defaults to . You can use whatever you’d like. Go nuts, replace it with a 👋!

footnoteBackRefAnchorStyle: As in the example above, if you use ^ you’ll want to override the text-decoration property (and potentially other ones, like color, if that’s your thing) to conform to the Wikipedia style. Can be omitted.

footnoteBackRefInnerTextStartPosition: front for Wikipedia style, otherwise can be omitted.

useFootnoteMarkerText: set to true to use footnote’s “marker” (how the footnote is introduced between the Markdown brackets) as the footnote “heading” introducing the footnote in the actual footnote section. Markdown by default auto-numbers footnotes, regardless of how they are introduced; if you use a series of footnotes like so 1 second third the footnotes will auto number to 1, 2, 3 in the footnote sections. By setting this flag to true, the second and third footnotes would be introduced: second. and third.

Targeting your footnotes with further CSS selectors

This plugin appends class names to the elements it produces so that you can further stylize / override the existing CSS.

  • <p> tag: footnote-paragraph class
  • <li> tag: footnote-list-item class
  • <a> tag: footnote-backref class
  • (if using useFootnoteMarkerText config option) <span> tag: footnote-marker-text class


This plugin removes nodes from the AST Markdown tree that gatsby-transformer-remark uses to otherwise massage your markdown. This means that other functionality you might rely on from other Gatsby plugins also working on your markdown will probably not work as expected for your footnotes. E.G. you use gatsby-external-link - it’s not going to pick up on anchor tags present in your footnotes. This plugin automatically adds target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer properties to your anchor tags.

Contributions are welcome!