My school requires that dissertations follow a set of sometimes odd formatting requirements. We have a latex class file which does a reasonable job at bringing documents into compliance with their requirements. There is, however, one requirement that I have't got a clue how to make happen:

Footnote are supposed to be at the bottom of each page which can be accomplished by using footmisc. However, on the last page of a chapter the footnotes are supposed to be directly after the actual chapter text ends not at the bottom of the page.

Now I can solve individual cases by adding vspace, or simply not putting footnotes at the end of my chapters. However, I'm wondering if there is a way to modify the class file to make this happen automatically.

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    Why would you make something like that a requirement for setting dissertations? This kind of micromanagement of allowed style completely baffles me. If I were at a school with those kind of requirements, I'd deliberately try and contravene as many of these stupid rules as possible. I bet no one would notice. – Seamus May 28 '11 at 16:05
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    I suppose we should be glad they don't demand the use of Word... BTW, if ever you manage to do this, it's gonna be really ugly. – Brent.Longborough May 28 '11 at 16:25
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    @Seamus, someone does goes through the dissertation looking for violations. So sadly, someone does notice. Since nobody is going to read the thesis regardless, I'm just interested in getting the class file so that it can pass their silly rules without effort from the user. – Winston Ewert May 28 '11 at 16:26
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    @Brent.Longborough, I'm sorry for all the students here that use Word. – Winston Ewert May 28 '11 at 16:27
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    I think all of us here feel your pain; we're not railing at you, but at your institution. – Brent.Longborough May 28 '11 at 16:31

No automated solution, but perhaps \enlargethispage can help. It should quite easy to measure the gap between text and footnotes on the last chapter page and issue an \enlargethispage{-??\baselineskip}, where ?? stands for the number of lines to cut from the page.

Let's hope that the among the requirements there's a page number at the bottom.

Of course this should be done when the text is completely definitive.

  • +1 Simple and probably as elegant as one can get for this problem. – Alan Munn May 28 '11 at 20:19
  • How would this different my current strategy of using a vspace? – Winston Ewert May 28 '11 at 22:33
  • @Winston: I wouldn't use a \vspace inside the footnote text, although it can work. The command \enlargethispage can be placed at the end of the chapter, while the \vspace is hidden in a footnote. – egreg May 28 '11 at 22:45

I don't know if there's an automatic way to do this, and the following solution obviously can't be made part of your class file, but if you want to add some instructions on how to achieve it manually once you have finished the whole thesis, you can do the following. For the last page of a chapter, you need to set the footnotes in a minipage. You do this by putting \footnotemark in the place in the text where you need the footnote (instead of the regular \footnote command) and then putting the \footnotetext commands inside the minipage. If you have multiple footnotes on the page, you need to manually step the mpfootnote counter for each subsequent \footnotetext command. Perhaps others have a more automated solution.



\chapter{A chapter}
\lipsum*[1]\footnote{A regular footnote}\par
\lipsum[2-4]\lipsum*[5]\ A footnote here.\footnotemark\par
\lipsum[6]\ Another footnote here\footnotemark\par

  \footnotetext{The second last footnote.}
  \footnotetext{The last footnote.}

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