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I was wondering if there is way to change the symbols of footnotes to any symbol I want. I know there are some packages that put away the numbers and use predefined symbols, but I want to use some arbitrary symbol. Is there a way?

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1  
Welcome to TeX.SX! "Arbitrary" is a bit too vague, may you be more specific? –  egreg Oct 18 '12 at 18:05
    
Thank you. \Mobilefone, \Telefon, \chi, \frownie, etc. Just any symbol. –  Francisco Oct 18 '12 at 18:15
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4 Answers

up vote 12 down vote accepted

The footnote symbol code is actually very simple:

\def\@fnsymbol#1{\ensuremath{\ifcase#1\or *\or \dagger\or \ddagger\or
   \mathsection\or \mathparagraph\or \|\or **\or \dagger\dagger
   \or \ddagger\ddagger \else\@ctrerr\fi}}

so if you were to copy that definition and replace \ddagger by \forall then the second footnote would get an inverted A.

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As starting point the definition of \@fnsymbol can be used (latex.ltx, source2e.pdf: "21 Counter and Lengths". The following example goes a step further and removes the upper limit for the counter value. If needed the symbol will be multiplied (see the doubling of symbols in \@fnsymbol) with the help of package alphalph:

\documentclass{article}

\makeatletter
\newcommand*{\myfnsymbolsingle}[1]{%
  \ensuremath{%
    \ifcase#1% 0
    \or % 1
      *%   
    \or % 2
      \dagger
    \or % 3  
      \ddagger
    \or % 4   
      \mathsection
    \or % 5
      \mathparagraph
    \else % >= 6
      \@ctrerr  
    \fi
  }%   
}   
\makeatother

\newcommand*{\myfnsymbol}[1]{%
  \myfnsymbolsingle{\value{#1}}%
}

% remove upper boundary by multiplying the symbols if needed
\usepackage{alphalph}
\newalphalph{\myfnsymbolmult}[mult]{\myfnsymbolsingle}{}

\renewcommand*{\thefootnote}{%
  \myfnsymbolmult{\value{footnote}}%
}

\begin{document}
\footnote{a}\footnote{b}\footnote{c}\footnote{d}\footnote{e}%
\footnote{f}\footnote{g}\footnote{h}\footnote{i}\footnote{j}%
\footnote{k}\footnote{l}\footnote{m}\footnote{n}\footnote{o}%
\end{document}

Result

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You can use footmisc and define a set of symbols with \DefineFNsymbols (text-only symbols, i.e. no math) and \DefineFNsymbolsTM (for text or math symbols)

\DefineFNsymbolsTM{myfnsymbols}{% def. from footmisc.sty "bringhurst" symbols
  \textasteriskcentered *
  \textdagger    \dagger
  \textdaggerdbl \ddagger
  \textsection   \mathsection
  \textbardbl    \|%
  \textparagraph \mathparagraph
}%

And call it with

\setfnsymbol{myfnsymbols}

Here's a MWE

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[symbol*]{footmisc}
\DefineFNsymbolsTM{myfnsymbols}{% def. from footmisc.sty "bringhurst" symbols
  \textasteriskcentered *
  \textdagger    \dagger
  \textdaggerdbl \ddagger
  \textsection   \mathsection
  \textbardbl    \|%
  \textparagraph \mathparagraph
}%
\setfnsymbol{myfnsymbols}
\begin{document}
\footnote{a}\footnote{b}\footnote{c}
\footnote{d}\footnote{e}\footnote{f}
\end{document}

footmisc footnote symbols example

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I found these explanations a bit confusing. I wanted $\star$ as a footnote symbol, so I just did

\renewcommand{\thefootnote}{$\star$} 

and now I get what I want on the next footnote.

I assume that this generalizes to any symbol X by writing

\renewcommand{\thefootnote}{X}
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2  
While this might work, it also fixes the footnote symbol to $\star$ for all subsequent footnotes. –  Werner Oct 27 '13 at 17:39
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