# In the Tufte template... How can I make LaTeX use symbols (*, †, ‡, and so on) instead of numbers to mark sidenotes?

Sorry for the possible naive question.... I am using the wonderful Tufte template... How can I make LaTeX use symbols (*, †, ‡, and so on) instead of numbers to mark sidenotes?

I tried the solution proposed in Symbols instead of numbers as footnote markers, but is not working for the Tufte template.

• Welcome to TeX.SX! Please help us to help you and 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}.
– user31729
Mar 19, 2015 at 15:51
• It doesn't do that - you would need to redefine @makefnmark and do something with the footnote counter. Look at tufte-common.def. Mar 19, 2015 at 16:12

\makeatletter
\def\thempfn{\fnsymbol{\@mpfn}}
\makeatother


You'll need to do two or three things to pull this off.

First, tell LaTeX to use footnote symbols instead of numbers:

% Works up to nine sidenotes
\renewcommand*{\thefootnote}{\fnsymbol{footnote}}


Next, we'll want to reset the footnote counter at each page or we'll soon run out of symbols to use:

% Ensure that the sidenote marker is reset at each page
\usepackage{perpage}
\MakePerPage{footnote}


Finally, we'll probably want to define some more footnote symbols so we can use more than nine per page:

% Define up to 18 footnote symbols
\makeatletter
\def\@fnsymbol#1{%
\ensuremath{%
\ifcase#1\or
*\or
\dagger\or
\ddagger\or
\mathsection\or
\mathparagraph\or
\|\or
**\or
\dagger\dagger\or
\ddagger\ddagger\or
\mathsection\mathsection\or
\mathparagraph\mathparagraph\or
\|\|\or
***\or
\dagger\dagger\dagger\or
\ddagger\ddagger\ddagger\or
\mathsection\mathsection\mathsection\or
\mathparagraph\mathparagraph\mathparagraph\or
\|\|\|
\else
% We would normally emit an error here,
% but because the perpage package won't work until the
% second pass, we need to do something less abrupt.
\fi
}%
}
\makeatother


(In any case, we'll want to redefine the \@fnsymbol macro so that it doesn't call \@ctrerr. The perpage package doesn't reset the counter on the first pass of LateX, and if we've used more footnotes on a page than we've defined symbols for, LaTeX will call \@ctrerr which will emit an error.)

And here's an example document that shows everything put together:

\documentclass{tufte-handout}

% Works up to nine sidenotes
\renewcommand*{\thefootnote}{\fnsymbol{footnote}}

% Ensure that the sidenote marker is reset at each page
\usepackage{perpage}
\MakePerPage{footnote}

% Define up to 18 footnote symbols
\makeatletter
\def\@fnsymbol#1{%
\ensuremath{%
\ifcase#1\or
*\or
\dagger\or
\ddagger\or
\mathsection\or
\mathparagraph\or
\|\or
**\or
\dagger\dagger\or
\ddagger\ddagger\or
\mathsection\mathsection\or
\mathparagraph\mathparagraph\or
\|\|\or
***\or
\dagger\dagger\dagger\or
\ddagger\ddagger\ddagger\or
\mathsection\mathsection\mathsection\or
\mathparagraph\mathparagraph\mathparagraph\or
\|\|\|
\else
% We would normally emit an error here,
% but because the perpage package won't work until the
% second pass, we need to do something less abrupt.
\fi
}%
}
\makeatother

% Because I'm too lazy to type it twice...
\newcommand{\printsidenotes}{%
First note.\sidenote{First, a sidenote.}
Second note.\sidenote{A second sidenote.}
Third note.\sidenote{Finally, a sidenote!}

Fourth note.\sidenote{Another sidenote.}
Fifth note.\sidenote{Yet another sidenote.}
Sixth note.\sidenote{When will they stop?!}

Seventh note.\sidenote{Bet you didn't expect another sidenote.}
Eighth note.\sidenote{We normally wouldn't be able to see this many sidenotes on a single page using the regular set of footnote symbols.}
Ninth note.\sidenote{But we've extended the set to allow for this silliness.}

Tenth note.\sidenote{Note 10.}
Eleventh note.\sidenote{Note 11.}
Twelfth note.\sidenote{Note 12.}

Thirteenth note.\sidenote{Note 13.}
Fourteenth note.\sidenote{Note 14.}
Fifteenth note.\sidenote{Note 15.}

Sixteenth note.\sidenote{Note 16.}
Seventeenth note.\sidenote{Note 17.}
Eighteenth note.\sidenote{Note 18.}

Nineteenth note.\sidenote{Too many sidenotes!}
}

\title{Sidenote marks}
\author{Kevin M. Godby}

\begin{document}

\maketitle

\printsidenotes

% Test to make sure the sidenote markers reset after a page break
\clearpage
\printsidenotes

\end{document}

• Alternatively, you could use the alphalph package to deal with the symbol lists. Mar 20, 2015 at 8:29