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How can I edit the distance between footnote and the line above it?

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  • 3
    There is a \footnotesep that governs the distance between the main text and the footnote, if that is what you mean. There may be other distances too, of which I am unaware. Use the search feature. There are other questions that deal with \footnotesep. Jul 18, 2013 at 11:27
  • There is a nice and simple solution at tex.stackexchange.com/questions/59501/…
    – Zvika
    Mar 31, 2016 at 13:42

1 Answer 1

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The bottom of the page, when there are footnotes, is regulated by the parameter \skip\footins; after this vertical skip, the \footnoterule is typeset. According to the LaTeX kernel documentation, this should occupy zero vertical space; the default definition is

% latex.ltx, line 6010:
\def\footnoterule{\kern-3\p@
  \hrule \@width 2in \kern 2.6\p@} % the \hrule is .4pt high

so you should act on this definition for increasing the distance between the rule and the first footnote. The default is 2.6pt.

Here's a document that emulates placing some footnotes with different length: the argument to \changefootnoterule is the distance from the top of the rule to the first footnote (so 0.4pt more than the “real” distance).

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{geometry} % just to have more room
\usepackage{lipsum}
\makeatletter
\def\changefootnoterule#1{%
  \noindent\begin{minipage}{\textwidth}
  \def\footnoterule{\kern-#1\p@\hrule \@width 2in \kern \dimexpr#1\[email protected]\p@\relax}
  Text\footnote{This is a footnote}\lipsum[2]\par\kern\dimexpr#1\p@-3\p@\relax
  \end{minipage}\par\medskip\hrule\medskip}
\makeatother
\renewcommand{\thempfootnote}{\arabic{mpfootnote}}

\begin{document}
\showthe\skip\footins
\changefootnoterule{3}% default
\changefootnoterule{4}
\changefootnoterule{6}
\changefootnoterule{8}
\changefootnoterule{10}
\end{document}

enter image description here

When you've found a satisfying distance, just redefine \footnoterule in your document, say

\makeatletter
\def\footnoterule{\kern-8\p@
  \hrule \@width 2in \kern 7.6\p@} % the \hrule is .4pt high
\makeatother

if \changefootnoterule{8} is what suits you. You might want to increase the value of \skip\footins; adding 2pt to it can be done by

\addtolength{\skip\footins}{2pt}

One might take a different road, by changing \footnotesep, but this parameter is rather the vertical distance between two consecutive footnotes.

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  • This solution doesn't take care of Right To Left languages, like Hebrew - it returns the ruler to be from Left to Right.
    – Zvika
    Mar 31, 2016 at 13:44
  • @Zvika That's a very different ballgame.
    – egreg
    Mar 31, 2016 at 13:49

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