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Using the command

\newcommand\@makefntext[1]{%
\noindent\makebox[.02\columnwidth][l]{\@thefnmark}%
\parbox[t]{.98\columnwidth}{#1}}

I got the desired result for the foot notes, as shown in the image below.

I'd like to know if my code is the best way to do this.

enter image description here

edited: using footmisc with the option hang as suggested, the format of the foot number is different so the vertical space around the foot note is changed.

enter image description here

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I don't think it's a good idea. Add \setcounter{footnote}{8} (or {98}!) to see why not. Also, what is wrong, e.g., with the hang option of footmisc.sty? –  jon Jan 31 '13 at 5:03
1  
I like KOMA-Script's \deffootnote (available to standard classes via the scrextend package) for these kind of things. –  cgnieder Jan 31 '13 at 10:00
    
@jon, I can imagine what you're trying to exemplify. I'll try soon. But now I believe that the left alignment could solve the problem and the length of the box would be enough to the number. I'll check your suggestion. About the package, I don't know if some powerful package could change something on my format rules. I have a lot of modifications and I'm afraid that some package could affect it so deeply that I'd notice later. –  Sigur Jan 31 '13 at 10:17
    
@Sigur -- It is a possible danger, I guess, but footmisc was designed (carefully, I'd guess) by someone who knows and understands (La)TeX very well. If you're worried about bad interactions, it will more likely be due to your 'lot of modifications' (what are you doing that is so crazy?), not bad interactions between footmisc and other standard packages. And, if there is, it would be good to find out so a fix can be made for future users! One of the strengths of LaTeX is that there is a large user base, which serves LaTeX well for finding package bugs and conflicts. –  jon Jan 31 '13 at 21:14
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2 Answers

You can customize the appearance of the footnotes with the footmisc package. Here's an example:

\documentclass{book}
\usepackage[hang]{footmisc}

% do this \AtBeginDocument so that all font settings will be already made
\AtBeginDocument{
 % set the \footnotemargin to 1.5em at \footnotesize
 \footnotesize\setlength{\footnotemargin}{1.5em}\normalsize
 % set the footnote parindent equal to the normal parindent
 \edef\hangfootparindent{\the\parindent}
 % no parskip in foonotes
 \renewcommand{\hangfootparskip}{0pt}
}

\usepackage{lipsum} % mock text
\begin{document}
\mainmatter

% we want to see what happens for two digit footnote numbers
\setcounter{footnote}{8} 

a\footnote{\lipsum*[2]}b\footnote{\lipsum[2]\lipsum*[3]}

\end{document}

enter image description here

You can set differently the parameters; just remember that \hangfootparindent and \hangfootparskip are macros, rather than lengths.

The \edef trick is used to store the current value of \parindent.

Note The hyperlinks of hyperref don't work with footmisc, so one has to say

\hypersetup{hyperfootnotes=false}

if hyperref is loaded.

With your attempt, you lose the possibility of breaking a footnote across pages, which is undesirable in general, but sometimes is the only option, particularly for long footnotes.


A way to get footnote marks in the footnote not to be superscripted is the following:

\usepackage{etoolbox}
\makeatletter
\newcommand{\sigur@makefnmark}{\@thefnmark}
\pretocmd{\@makefntext}{\let\@makefnmark\sigur@makefnmark}{}{}
\makeatother

We patch the \@makefntext so that a different macro is used for typesetting the footnote number. This won't work if you have footnotes to footnotes, of course. It's safe to change the meaning of \@makefnmark because \@makefntext is expanded in a group, so this change will not affect the typesetting of footnote marks in the text.

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Great. How to use the foot note number on the foot note text not in textsuperscript? –  Sigur Feb 1 '13 at 23:58
    
Using your suggestion, as you can see here img21.imageshack.us/img21/2280/shutterseleo005.png the vertical alignment is not the same. I used the border of the window as horizontal rule. –  Sigur Feb 2 '13 at 0:10
    
@Sigur I can't see anything; what vertical alignment are you referring to? –  egreg Feb 2 '13 at 0:13
    
The position of the foot note rule is not the same. I believe that some margin had changed. –  Sigur Feb 2 '13 at 0:14
    
@Sigur The position of the footnote rule depends on the size of the footnotes, it's not in a fixed position on the page. If I write two pages with the same footnotes at the end, I get perfect alignment. –  egreg Feb 2 '13 at 0:16
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With scrextend, a package that is part of the KOMA-Script bundle, one can use KOMA's command

\deffootnote[<mark width>]{<indent>}{<parindent>}{<definition>}

with the standard classes for formatting footnotes. The following figure (taken from the KOMA-Script documentation) illustrates the different values:

enter image description here

Inside the <definition> one can refer to the footnote mark with \thefootnotemark. Footnotes defined this way also work with hyperref.

\documentclass{book}

\usepackage{scrextend}
\deffootnote[1.5em]{1.5em}{1em}{\thefootnotemark.\space}

\usepackage{lipsum}% dummy text

\usepackage{hyperref}
\begin{document}
\mainmatter

% we want to see what happens for two digit footnote numbers
\setcounter{footnote}{8} 

a\footnote{\lipsum*[2]}b\footnote{\lipsum[2]\lipsum*[3]}

\end{document}

enter image description here

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