About footnotes

You all know how easy it is to add footnotes in LaTeX. Most times it is as easy as calling \footnote{This is the footnote.}. Typographically the result often is not very pleasing, though. Let’s look at the following small example:

\documentclass{article}
\renewcommand\thempfootnote{\arabic{mpfootnote}}
\begin{document}

\begin{minipage}{.5\linewidth}
  \noindent The three little pigs built their houses
  out of straw\footnote{not to be confused with hay},
  sticks\footnote{or lumber according to some sources}
  and bricks\footnote{probably fired clay bricks}.
\end{minipage}

\end{document
}

This looks as follows:

footnotes0

The footnote numbers are huge and the gaps between them and the punctuation marks are not nice, either. With my favourite font it looks a little bit better although actually nothing happened.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{libertine}
\renewcommand\thempfootnote{\arabic{mpfootnote}}
\begin{document}

\begin{minipage}{.5\linewidth}
  \noindent The three little pigs built their houses
  out of straw\footnote{not to be confused with hay},
  sticks\footnote{or lumber according to some sources}
  and bricks\footnote{probably fired clay bricks}.
\end{minipage}

\end{document
}

footnotes1

The footnote numbers really should be typeset with superior figures. Not every font has them but Linux Libertine O does. Using them is quite easy, actually, since Michael Sharpe published his superiors package, which needs to be loaded before libertine:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}
\usepackage[supstfm=libertinesups]{superiors}
\usepackage{libertine}

\renewcommand\thempfootnote{\arabic{mpfootnote}}
\begin{document}

\begin{minipage}{.5\linewidth}
  \noindent The three little pigs built their houses
  out of straw\footnote{not to be confused with hay},
  sticks\footnote{or lumber according to some sources}
  and bricks\footnote{probably fired clay bricks}.
\end{minipage}

\end{document
}

footnotes2

The result looks a lot better now! The only thing remaining is the gaps between footnote marks and punctuation marks. But thanks to Christian and his question on TeX.sx there is also an easy solution for that: my fnpct package.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}
\usepackage[supstfm=libertinesups]{superiors}
\usepackage{libertine}
\usepackage{fnpct}

\renewcommand\thempfootnote{\arabic{mpfootnote}}
\begin{document}

\begin{minipage}{.5\linewidth}
  \noindent The three little pigs built their houses
  out of straw\footnote{not to be confused with hay},
  sticks\footnote{or lumber according to some sources}
  and bricks\footnote{probably fired clay bricks}.
\end{minipage}

\end{document
}

footnotes3

As you can see footnote marks and punctuation marks switch positions and moved closer together. The package lets you customize if you want the switching or not and also let’s you set the amount of kerning for each punctuation mark. What you see in the picture are just the default settings.

2 Comments

    • That may very well be. I’ve heard of different ways handling footnote markers, depending on style, language, …

      That is why fnpct offers an easy way out: \footnote gets an optional star that prevents switching with punctuation or — if switching was disabled through the package option — enables it.

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