# Numbered figure with caption in footnote

The question about adding footnotes in floats or captions of these has been asked and debated often.

What is about floats in footnotes?

I can't seem to get a floating figure environment within a footnote. Here is an example:

\documentclass[
DIV10,
a4paper,
pagesize,
english,
]{scrartcl} %scrreprt, scrartcl
\usepackage[english]{babel}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
\usepackage{blindtext}
\usepackage[demo]{graphicx}

\begin{document}

\section{Floating'' figure in a footnote}

\blindtext\footnote{ %
\begin{figure}[htbp] %
\centering %
\includegraphics[width=0.5\textwidth]{demo}\caption{\dots and a caption} %
\label{fig:demo} %
\end{figure}} %
\par
\blindtext

\end{document}


Further is it typographically accepted to have a graphic in a footnote, if the only the text in the footnote refers to this figure? Nothing else in the whole document.

• In your example code you're not using a \caption, so there's technically no need for the figure environment. That is, a single \includegraphics would suffice. – Werner May 26 '13 at 17:45
• It doesn't make sense to have a floating environment (with no fixed place in the document) in a footnote that has a fixed place. – clemens May 26 '13 at 17:49
• I think you're echoing a common misconception about floats (figures and tables) as opposed to their contents (typically \includegraphics or tabulars). The floating environments wrap something in a container that can be moved by TeX to fit the needs of the page layout. In the context of a footnote, you wouldn't want the graphic to move except with the footnote itself, so you shouldn't use a floating environment; you should just insert the graphic directly into the footnote. – Alan Munn May 26 '13 at 17:51
• @Werner: I do use caption, hence my idea with the minipage environment + \captionof{}. – Roman May 26 '13 at 18:24
• I don't think that a footnote is a good place for a captioned figure. Maybe it's me, but I tend to dislike longish footnotes. If something is important it should go in the main body; otherwise it should go nowhere. ;-) – egreg May 26 '13 at 21:24

Floating does not make a lot of sense in footnotes, hence I thought about it again and decided to use a minipage environment with the \captionof command instead. Please see the code below:

\documentclass[
DIV10,
a4paper,
pagesize,
english,
]{scrartcl} %scrreprt, scrartcl
\usepackage[english]{babel}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
\usepackage{blindtext}
\usepackage[demo]{graphicx}

\begin{document}

\section{Floating'' figure in a footnote}

\blindtext\footnote{ %
\begin{minipage}{\textwidth}%
\centering %
\includegraphics[width=0.5\textwidth]{demo} %
\captionof{figure}{\dots and a caption}
\label{fig:demo} %
\end{minipage}} %
\par
\blindtext

\end{document}

• It seems quite odd to me to have a figure in a footnote be included in the main list of figures. Elements in footnotes are typically numbered relative to the footnote itself not relative to the main document. – Alan Munn May 26 '13 at 17:59
• Alan: Can you give an example for the numbering relative to the footnote itself? – Roman May 26 '13 at 18:09
• In my field, (linguistics) we number linguistic examples sequentially in the text (like math equations). However, if you use an example in a footnote, it gets numbered typically with lowercase roman, and the numbers restart each footnote. – Alan Munn May 26 '13 at 23:58