How To Format Citations In Google Docs

Last Updated on July 23, 2023 by Jake Sheridan

In this tutorial, you will learn how to format citations in Google Docs.

How To Format Citations In Google Docs

When composing a document, you may need to cite sources of information. Properly formatting these citations is an important part of the writing process.

Google Docs makes it easy to quickly format your citations to the style you need. Whether you’re using MLA, APA, or Chicago Style, you can have your citations properly formatted in a matter of seconds.

In this guide, we will show you how to format citations in Google Docs. We will also show you how to add a References section in your document to cite all of your sources all at once.

How to Add Formatting to Citations in Google Docs

Here’s our step-by-step guide on how to add formatting to citations in Google Docs.

Step 1

First, open the document you want to add citations to. Next, click on Tools > Citations to access the built-in Citations feature in Google Docs.

Step 2

In the Citations panel, choose the format you want to use for making citations. You can currently choose between the MLA, APA, and Chicago format.

In this example, we’ll choose the APA formatting for our citations.

Step 3

Click on Add citation source.

Step 4

Select the source type and the accessed by options.

For books and journals, you can provide the ISBN number of your source to let Google Docs automatically pull up the required fields for your citation.

Click Continue if the citation details are accurate.

Step 5

Place your cursor in the section of your text where you want to add a citation.

Click on the Cite option that appears when you hover over an added citation. This will add an in-text citation where your cursor was placed.

You can replace the placeholder “#” symbol with the appropriate page number.

Step 6

We can also use the Citations tool to create a References section in our document.

Click the Insert References button.

The tool will add a new section in your document that lists down all the sources and references the user has added to the Citations tool.


This guide should be everything you need to learn how to format citations in Google Docs.

Click this link to make a copy of this sample document to try doing it yourself!