I'm currently writing up a design document and I want to include a number of references to external documents/URLs. I can manually add reference brackets and links so that:

See the external file blah.txt [1]
(at bottom of file)
[1] http://example.com/blah.txt

However this is going to be prone to errors over the document as I add new references. Is there a built-in or 3rd party package to make adding and managing these references easier?

  • 3
    Why not use Markdown? Your example is pretty close to it already.
    – user227
    Commented Jun 1, 2015 at 10:48
  • @lunaryorn: the project I'm working on doesn't use Markdown for it's design documents. Having said that I could just edit the files in markdown-mode I guess.
    – stsquad
    Commented Jun 1, 2015 at 10:54
  • I see. But still, you could probably just steal the code for references from Markdown Mode, and adapt it accordingly.
    – user227
    Commented Jun 1, 2015 at 11:04
  • 4
    You can even use org-mode and export to ascii. Commented Jun 1, 2015 at 12:08

1 Answer 1


Something like Markdown or Org seems appropriate here, but if you are just looking for an easier way to manage footnotes you can enable footnote-mode. That provides key-bindings for adding a new footnote, jumping between the reference and the footnote, and so on.

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