Alphanumeric in-text citations

For non-academic publications like reports for NGOs, I need to be able to insert superscript alphanumeric characters (1 or i or A) in the body text and have it automatically track unique sources and create a corresponding bibliography, in a separate stream from Google Docs footnotes.

I’ve provided an example below to demonstrate what I mean. Note that brackets indicates superscript because there is no superscript formatting option here, e.g. [1] or [A]


Once I thought Paperpile[1] was the answer to my citation needs but it still requires me to do a lot of manual work[A]. I wonder if I should stop paying for it and go back to Zotero[2] instead[B]. Hopefully, these feature requests are taken seriously and not offered as a placebo[A].


  1. Paperpile is an up-and-coming citation management software.
  2. Zotero is a tried-and-true free citation management software.

A. Hicks, B. (2022). All About My Paperpile Woes. Random House.
B. Hicks, B. (2021). Zotero Is Still the Best App Out There and Its Free. Random House.

Thanks for sharing your opinion, @Brock_Hicks. It’s the first time a request for alphanumeric citations comes up, so I’ve created a new topic on our tracker for the team to consider in the future. Updates for our citation feature in GDocs / MS Word are planned and will likely be prioritized next year.

On a related note, I’m happy to confirm that at least two of the features you’ve requested in the past (deleting/managing labels in bulk and offline mode) are coming soon, as part of a general rewrite of our extension and web-app which will bring several other improvements (you might’ve already seen our roadmap). We keep track of all user feedback, prioritizing implementation based on demand and feasibility.