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I have a small Problem with indentation in LaTeX footnotes:

   \documentclass[draft,12pt,a4paper]{article}
   \usepackage[footnote,printonlyused]{acronym}
   \begin{document}
   foo\footnote{foo: this footnotetext explaines what foo is}
   bar\footnote{bar: this very very very very very very very long text explains in  two lines what bar is, it would be nice if this line is indented behind the colon, starting below the 'this'}
   \end{document}

As you can see in the example, I repeat the word that has the footnote attached in the footnote again, everything works fine so far. But if I have too much text in the footnote, so that it spawns over more than one line in the footnotes, it looks 'wrong': the text in the second line starts at the beginning of the line, not as it should be below the first letter after the colon and the following space. How can I adjust the space in front of the second line, so that the text starts more towards the middle of the page?

example as is at the moment:

     foo¹
     bar²
     -----------
     ¹ foo: this footnotetext explaines what foo is
     ² bar: this very very very very very very very long text explains in  two lines what bar
     is, it would be nice if this line is indented behind the colon, starting below the 'this'

example as it should look:

     foo¹
     bar²
     -----------
     ¹ foo: this footnotetext explaines what foo is
     ² bar: this very very very very very very very long text explains in  two lines what bar
            is, it would be nice if this line is indented behind the colon, starting below 
            the 'this'
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1  
Please have a look to question tex.stackexchange.com/questions/19844/… –  Kurt Aug 31 at 11:10
    
@Kurt i updated the question to show the problem better, maybe i overlooked it, but i didnt see the solution in the other question, can you point out what you meant? Thanks –  user2567875 Aug 31 at 11:17

4 Answers 4

Maybe this help. Here. This is the complete definition of the command.

\deffootnote[<width of mark>]
{<indent of footnote text>}
{<paragraph indent in the footnote text>}
{<definition of mark>}

enter image description here

Code:

\documentclass[draft,12pt,a4paper]{article}
\usepackage[footnote,printonlyused]{acronym}
\usepackage{scrextend}
\deffootnote[1.0em]{3.2em}{10em}
{\textsuperscript{\thefootnotemark}\,\enskip}

\begin{document}
foo\footnote{foo: this footnotetext explaines what foo is}
bar\footnote{bar: this very very very very very very very long text explains in  two lines what bar is, it would be nice if this line is indented behind the colon, starting below the 'this'.}
\end{document}
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1  
@user2567875 This is the trial and error approach working for a three letter word (more or less). You would need to find the right indent for longer words yourself. But this way, your document will look more odd. –  Johannes_B Aug 31 at 12:21
    
@murugan Jesse Kurt: Thanks a lot so far! My initial question is answered, but now I realised that its more complicated than I expected: I have footnotes with diffrend length of "preceding text", sometimes even without. Is there a way to redefine the Footnote command for each call to notify it how far the extra space has to be? And one additional Question: which anwser should I mark as correct? All of them helped :) –  user2567875 Aug 31 at 12:55
    
@user2567875 -- You can upvote all of them if you choose to. Furthermore, How do you accept an answer here tex.stackexchange.com/tour to say “thank you” to users who helped you. –  Jesse Aug 31 at 13:32

You can use lockstep answer to the question no tex.stackexchange.com/questions/19844/ as suggested by Kurt

code

 \documentclass{article}

 \usepackage{scrextend}
 \deffootnote{0em}{1.6em}{\thefootnotemark.\enskip}

 \usepackage[english]{babel}
 \usepackage{blindtext}


 \begin{document}

 \blindtext\footnote{\blindtext}\\
 foo\footnote{foo: this footnotetext explaines what foo is}\\
 bar\footnote{bar: this very very very very very very very long text explains in  two lines what bar is, it would be nice if this line is indented behind the colon, starting below the 'this'}

   \end{document}

footnotewithindent

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Too long for a comment: I tried to write something up that depends on the length of the descriptionlabel (if you want to call it that way). As i already mentioned in the comments, the result will look quite odd. I suggest to use a fixed indentation, that will make your article/report/book/... look more uniform.

\documentclass[draft,12pt,a4paper]{article}
\usepackage{showframe}
\usepackage{scrextend}
\deffootnote[1.0em]{3.2em}{10em}
{\textsuperscript{\thefootnotemark}\,\enskip}
\newlength{\desclngth}
\newlength{\colonlngth}
\newcommand{\myfootnote}[2]{\settowidth{\desclngth}{#1:}%
\begingroup%
\addtolength{\desclngth}{1em}%
\deffootnote[1.0em]{\desclngth}{10em}%
{\textsuperscript{{\thefootnotemark}}\,\enskip}%
#1\footnote{#1: #2}%
\endgroup%
}
\usepackage{blindtext}
\begin{document}
foo\footnote{foo: this footnotetext explaines what foo is}
bar\footnote{foobar: this very very very very very very very long text explains in  two lines what bar is, it would be nice if this line is indented behind the colon, starting below the 'this'}
\myfootnote{baz}{\blindtext}
\myfootnote{foobar}{\blindtext}
\end{document}

enter image description here

As you may notice, the indent doesn't really match, which is due to the different widths of the initial number (i think). But since the result look sooo odd, i didn't investigate further.

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Here is a solution that defines an \explain command, that has two arguments: the text or word to be explained and the explanations. It creates a footnote with first argument in boldface (as in a dictionary), followed by the explanation. If the explanation is several lines long, subsequent lines are indented as if the word to be defined was a three letters word so as to have a consistent indent throughout the document.

It uses the enumitem environment, and more specifically its description* inline environment.

\documentclass[draft,12pt,a4paper]{article}

\usepackage[inline]{enumitem}

\makeatletter
\renewcommand\@makefntext[1]{%
\noindent\makebox[0.5em][l]{\@makefnmark}#1}
\makeatother

\setlength\footnotesep{2ex}
\newcommand\explain[2]{#1\footnote{%
\settowidth{\hangindent}{\textbf{foo}:\hspace{0.83em}\mbox{}}\hangafter = 1
\begin{description*}[mode=unboxed]%
\item[#1\mdseries:] #2
\end{description*}}%
}
\begin{document}
bar\footnote{this standard footnotetext explains what bar is.}
\explain{foo}{this footnotetext explains what foo is.}
\explain{long bar}{this very very very very very very very long text explains in two lines what bar is; this line is indented behind the position of a colon for a three letters word. }

\end{document} 

enter image description here

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