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How can I make LaTeX use symbols (*, †, ‡, and so on) instead of numbers to mark footnotes? (The numbers are confusing because I use superscripted numbers for citations.)

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5 Answers

up vote 32 down vote accepted

Use the footmisc package, with option symbol.

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3  
The starred option symbol* might also be useful. –  Stefan Kottwitz Aug 2 '10 at 17:12
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This can be done by redefining the output of the footnote counter:

\renewcommand*{\thefootnote}{\fnsymbol{footnote}}
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I like this method, since you can easily turn off symbols again with another \renewcommand. –  Noldorin Aug 5 '10 at 13:48
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I like this simply because it doesn't require a package (i.e. it can be used even on systems where you don't administrate installed packages). –  Tomas Lycken Aug 5 '10 at 13:51
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As an additional upside to this suggestion over the one selected as correct, I will point out that this will work just fine with Beamer. The selected answer did not when I tried it. –  Benjamin Mako Hill Feb 9 '13 at 17:07
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@np8 For example by \renewcommand*{\thefootnote}{\arabic{footnote}}, or simply use a group. For your own list, see for example the answer by jfbu. –  Stefan Kottwitz Nov 29 '13 at 9:52
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You might want to reset the counter after changing the symbol: \setcounter{footnote}{0} –  elmanuelitio Jan 14 at 0:01
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You may also want to reset the footnote counter for each page. People are not familiar with the symbols beyond the double dagger, and more than (at most) 16 footnotes in a single chapter will result in an error message. To reset the counter per page, either use the footmisc option perpage or the following code:

\usepackage{perpage}
\MakePerPage{footnote}
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Of course, this will not solve the problem that the original question asked about. That said, it is a very good idea to add this if you follow either Stefan Kottwitz's answer or the one selected as correct. –  Benjamin Mako Hill Feb 9 '13 at 17:08
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To get a huge number of footnote(-symbols) you could use the alphalph package.

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Here is some code I used a long time ago:

\@addtoreset{footnote}{page}
\renewcommand{\thefootnote}{\ifcase\value{footnote}\or(*)\or
(**)\or(***)\or(****)\or(\#)\or(\#\#)\or(\#\#\#)\or(\#\#\#\#)\or($\infty$)\fi}

The first line should be between \makeatletter and \makeatother.

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of course, my choice of footnote markers was a bit odd, (it was used with a typewriter font, and using parentheses to enclose the *'s and #'s corresponded to this specific design) but it shows how to make arbitrary choices, without having to load a package. –  jfbu May 1 '11 at 7:48
    
of course, "\@addtoreset{footnote}{page}" is pretty unreliable. if you really want perpage, you need a package to do it for you (the coding is tedious); see lockstep's response for packages to use, and how. –  wasteofspace Feb 11 '12 at 0:39
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