Trying to put a footnote in subsection title:

\subsection{Effect of Lateral Confinement on SW Band Structure\footnote{Parts of this sub--section are based on \citet{Venkat2013}}}

produces the following error:

Argument of \@sect has an extra } ...section are based on \citet{Venkat2013}}}

I am using:

 \documentclass[paper=A4, fontsize=12, toc=listof, toc=index, toc=bib]{scrreprt}

Please advise.

  • 1
    related: Is there a reliable footnote command? Commented Jan 10, 2014 at 14:13
  • It is also OK, to give that footnote after the first sentence of that subsection. Footnotes in titles are sometimes unavoidable, but if they are avoidable, I think it is often better to avoid them.
    – jon
    Commented Jan 10, 2014 at 15:46

2 Answers 2


\footnote is a fragile command and section (or subsection) titles are moving arguments (meaning they get written to an auxiliary file to be used in the table of contents). Fragile commands break in moving arguments and the standard solution is to protect them with \protect:


This will however also produce a footnote in the table of contents:

\documentclass[paper=10cm:6cm]{scrartcl}% to get a small picture for tex.sx




enter image description here

In order to avoid this use the optional argument of \section for the TOC or even better: don't use footnotes in headings.





enter image description here

  • Yesterday I found, the approach of your answer, which I made a note for, would go terribly wrong in AMS classes, see Barbara Beetons first paragraph here: tex.stackexchange.com/a/123763/9237. Lucky, we are using KOMA-Script, where we can control this behaviour, as we want it to do, with these 3 options “headings=optionto…” (or leave in the traditional way).
    – Speravir
    Commented Jan 12, 2014 at 1:17
  • 2
    @Speravir That's why the real answer is: don't use footnotes in headings. And that's why questions need an MWE...
    – cgnieder
    Commented Jan 12, 2014 at 8:07
  • 6
    I disagree. Sometimes I want to do what I shouldn't and LaTeX shouldn't punish typographical dissidence when I do!
    – cfr
    Commented May 22, 2017 at 2:10
  • @cfr but it doesn't: it gives you the tools to achieve them, anyway! :)
    – cgnieder
    Commented May 22, 2017 at 9:01
  • @clemens I was disagreeing with the comment - not the answer!
    – cfr
    Commented May 22, 2017 at 9:36

I think "don't do that" is not a helpful answer. Section footnotes are often very useful!

According to: http://www.tex.ac.uk/FAQ-ftnsect.html

The correct thing to do is the following:

% in the document preamble
% in the body of the document
\section{title\footnote{title ftnt}}

Works great for me.

  • 1
    footmisc works nicely ... but not when there is a \url{} in the footnote---which works in other footnotes.
    – schremmer
    Commented Feb 25, 2018 at 1:16
  • 1
    But it works fine with \section{title\footnotemark} and \footnotetext{\url{}}. Why didn't I think of it right away? :-((
    – schremmer
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 3:36
  • Note: footmisc does also change the formatting of footnotes. So if you still want the formatting of the KOMA-Script class you have to repeat the \deffootnote command from the KOMA-Script manual after loading footmisc. Commented Apr 3, 2019 at 8:30

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