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I find the spacing between the word it refers to and the footnote call a bit too large. Is there a way to reduce it ?

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Welcome to TeX.sx! Please add a minimal working example (MWE) that illustrates your problem. It will be much easier for us to reproduce your situation and find out what the issue is when we see compilable code, starting with \documentclass{...} and ending with \end{document}. – yo' Feb 25 '13 at 10:29
Welcome to TeX.sx! Usually, we don't put a greeting or a "thank you" in our posts. While this might seem strange at first, it is not a sign of lack of politeness, but rather part of our trying to keep everything very concise. Upvoting is the preferred way here to say "thank you" to users who helped you. – Guido Feb 25 '13 at 10:38
You may want to have a look at the fnpct package (originating from »Is there a way to automatically change kerning between commas/full stops and footnote marks?« – clemens Feb 25 '13 at 10:53

Please always post a complete small document that shows the problem and all classes/packages used. The layout of the footnote marking is under the control of the document class, and you haven't said which you are using.

however the default definition is


So you could have


or whatever negative space you want. Note there is no space added by default so any negative space has the potential to make the footnote mark over-print the preceding text.

@tohecz suggests in comments that you have gone

word \footnote{this} or word

In either case the space before the footnote mark is the word space entered into the document not coming from the macro. This again shows the importance of always posting a complete example. If you have spaces before your \footnote command do not redefine the command just remove the spaces and use

word\footnote{this} or word%
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I'm suspicious that there's an un-procented end-of-line before \footnote or after \footnote{, causing some extra space. – yo' Feb 25 '13 at 10:30
@tohecz ah good guess, I'll add a note expanding that – David Carlisle Feb 25 '13 at 10:31
Thank you David, that works perfectly. – cristelle Feb 25 '13 at 10:35
@cristelle the redefinition or not putting in spaces? – David Carlisle Feb 25 '13 at 10:40
the redefinition. – cristelle Feb 25 '13 at 10:49

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