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I use the multicols environment (multicol package). I have two columns.

If I simply use \footnote{the footnote text, which is quite long} the footnote behaves as if there was just one big column (as in a "normal document").

It seems that there is no regular way to obtain a footnote which only spans one of my two columns.

But I guess there is a workaround like there is e.g. [1] for placing floating objects inside the multicol environment.

I would be grateful for any hint.

[1] http://www-h.eng.cam.ac.uk/help/tpl/textprocessing/multicol_hint.html

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I understand your problem, but can you please always post a little working example so we don't have to make up one? Thanks. –  Matten Dec 10 '10 at 11:22
    
These seems relevant: stackoverflow.com/questions/480685/… tex.ac.uk/cgi-bin/texfaq2html?label=splitfoot –  user5158 Apr 27 '11 at 18:57
    
See also answer of Frank Mittelbach himself: Footnotes layout in multicols environment. –  Speravir Feb 28 at 20:42
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2 Answers

The workaround you pointed to for single-column floats is a very crude one - the new environments simply don't float, which will almost invariably lead to bad column breaks without manual intervention. Footnotes are a kind of special floats, and an equivalent "workaround" would be to place text formatted akin to footnotes at the bottom of the affected columns by hand (and to determine column breaks by hand).

Quoting from p. 12 of the multicol documentation:

I'm not sure that I really want pagewide footnotes. But balancing of the last page can only be achieved with this approach or with a multi-path algorithm which is complicated and slow. But it's a challenge to everybody to prove me wrong! Another possibility is to reimplement a small part of the fire_up procedure in TeX (the program). I think that this is the best solution if you are interested in complex page makeup, but it has the disadvantage that the resulting program cannot be called TeX thereafter.

So I'm afraid there's no workaround for your problem.

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Is there a reason you have to use multicol? Normal LaTeX's twocolumn mode should work fine with per-column footnotes (I vaguely remember making this work with bigfoot.sty at one time, and that would likely have been close to impossible if it did not work without it as well).

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