Setting Arabic Footnotes Direction Right to Left (RTL) Automatically

3 September 2021
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How to make the footnotes direction of an Arabic document from Right to Left (RTL) and how to move the footnotes line separator to the right side of the document, tested in Office 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019 and Microsoft 365.

Some of us find it difficult when creating documents in Arabic and want to insert a footnotes, usually the footnotes will automatically point from left to right (LTR) even though the document is set so that the text orientation is right to left (RTL).

Actually the cause of the footnotes still pointing from left to right is the wrong step in changing the text orientation from Right to Left (RTL), this is because most people change the text orientation from Right to Left via the toolbar available on the paragraph menu, this step is less effective for changing the text orientation from Right to Left (RTL) for full Arabic documents; because this step will only change the texts direction the body of the document and will not change the direction of the text in the footer where there is footnotes content.

Then what is the right step to change the direction or orientation of the text from Right to Left (RTL) for a full Arabic document? See the explanation below.

Steps to make footnotes pointing from right to left (RTL)

  1. Open the Home tab, then on the Paragraph menu, click on the small arrow in the lower right corner.Arabic Footnotes Right to Left (RTL)
  2. On the Direction menu, select Right-to-left, and then click on Set As Default.Footnote Arab RTL Kanan ke Kiri
  3. Choose This document only? and click on OKFootnote Arab RTL Kanan ke Kiri

After the steps above are complete, you will see that the direction of the text in your document is completely Right to Left (RTL), please try to enter a footnotes and you will see that your footnotes is on the right side.


  • To make the footnotes pointing from left to right (RTL) automatically, you can't do it by clicking on the RTL toolbar on the Paragraph menu directly.
  • The right steps are: By creating a default template for the text direction the Paragraph menu in the current document as in the steps above.
  • The above method has been tried in Microsoft Office 2010, 2013, 2016, 2010 and Microsoft 365.
  • For Microsoft Office 2007 and below I've never tried it and it's great if you want to try.
  • The above method can also be used to move the footnotes line separator to the right side of the document.
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Penulis: Mohammad Ridwanullah

Founder | Author | Web Developer | Alumni Darul Ihsan Sana Daja & Ma'had Al-Ittihad Al-Islami Camplong. Melanjutkan pendidikan S1 Fakultas Syariah di LIPIA Jakarta. Melanjutkan pendidikan S2 di Fakultas Syariah jurusan Fiqh dan Ushul Fiqh di LIPIA Jakarta.

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