# Detect space before a footnote

I'm in the middle of proofreading TeX source for a book, and have found a couple of places where a stray space has slipped through before a footnote mark. Is there any automated way of scanning TeX source to detect this?

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I'd like to add a 'proofreading' tag here, if no one objected. I think there is a class of otherwise disparate activities which naturally fall under that tag. –  Mohan Dec 15 '12 at 12:54

If you're running linux or OSX or cygwin under Windows, you can use

``````grep -n '\([[:space:]]\|^\)\\footnote' file.tex
``````

in a terminal. This command outputs each line of file `file.tex` (prefixed with line number) that contains `\footnote` preceded by a space (any type of space) or at the beginning of a line.

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But for the *.tex source in the editor there should be a very easy solution: All editors I know provide a funcitionality called »search and replace«. You just have to search for `_\footnote{` and replace that by `\footnote{` .
Edit: As serveral comments demand to be as precise as possible, I admit that this would be usefull. So I correct: "`_`" meant a whitespace and certainly it would be a good idea to search and replace two leading whitespaces before a footnote, as well.
Nitpick: that would not work for `this \footnote{\dots}` that is preceded by two spaces. Tab characters also pose a problem, as do footnote commands at the beginning of a line. –  Christian Lindig Dec 16 '12 at 11:20