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In order to define a margin note, I use:

\marginpar{Add formula for curvature}

However, in a thesis full of margin notes, lots of them overlap, and the only solution I've found so far was to manually push them up or down.

Problem is, everytime I refactor the comment, it's a new complete mess...

So, does anyone know how to cleanly manage the sidenotes, so that they "float" to a "best position", and avoid overlaping?

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I thought marginpars are already floats? Absent a better idea, one thing you could play with is the width of the text area and the width of the margin. – Willie Wong Oct 7 '10 at 0:17
As @Willie Wong says, marginpars are already floats and should not end up overlapping (although they may not end up where you want them to and long ones may overflow the bottom of the page, for which problem there is the marginfix package). Are you using some unusual class or package that redefines \marginpar? – Lev Bishop Oct 7 '10 at 1:28
up vote 10 down vote accepted

Steve Hicks has a new package designed to help with this sort of thing: marginfix

share|improve this answer
Ah, I remember seeing his name and title for his presentation at 2010 TUG. – Willie Wong Oct 7 '10 at 11:35
Yep, great talk. – Will Robertson Oct 7 '10 at 12:06
In case there are some who is not aware of it, all the talks from TUG 2010 are available at River Valley TV: river-valley.tv/conferences/tug-2010 Steves talk is here: river-valley.tv/improving-margin-paragraphs-and-float-control – Torbjørn T. Oct 7 '10 at 15:21

I found todonotes to be a very useful package for adding notes to the text. It places notes in a colored (and customizable) box in the margin and adds a helpful line to the place where the note was inserted.

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Very interesting, but not what I asked for :-) Thanks anyway. – Hugo S Ferreira Oct 7 '10 at 18:06

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