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When there are many short footnotes on one page, it looks bad to use a whole line for each. Classical typography solves this problem by arranging consecutive short footnotes in columns (the number of columns varying according to the number and order of short footnotes on each page). How would one do this in LaTeX?

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{showframe}

\begin{document}

\begin{tabular}{lll}
  $^1$\,First footnote.\kern .75in & $^2$\,Second.\kern .75in & $^3$\,Third.\kern .75in\\
  $^4$\,Fourth.\kern .75in         & $^5$\,Fifth.\kern .75in  & $^6$\,Sixth.\kern .75in
\end{tabular}

\end{document}

(I used \kern because I don’t know how to distribute columns horizontally evenly; but of course that is what should be done.)

Compiled

When there is one or more footnotes on a page, that are considerably shorter than one line but longer than half a line, they should be centered and aligned.

ex. 2

ex. 3

enter image description here

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    @Lawrence: I think, your question is pretty unclear! – user31729 Sep 9 '15 at 15:24
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    I would have bet quite a bit that nobody has ever done this in print. If we ever meet, i'll get you a beer. I would never ever do it (at least for a serious document). – Johannes_B Sep 9 '15 at 16:21
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    It can imho be done: Use a para style. Patch footnote so that is measures its argument, and then put them in sensible sized boxes. But it imho need quite some work to get all the details right (e.g. to get the footnotemarks at the correct places). And you will probably loose the ability of large footnotes to break across pages. – Ulrike Fischer Sep 9 '15 at 16:25
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    @Lawrence sorry but really you did not explain what you want well. Now, this is some thing else. – touhami Sep 9 '15 at 16:35
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    Maybe the way to go is to have two kinds of footnotes: short three word footnotes, and longer ones. The author has to decide, which one is needed, so we have \footnoteA and \footnoteB, which both use the same counter for numbering the footnotes. – Keks Dose Sep 9 '15 at 19:39
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Here is a solution

\documentclass{article}

\usepackage{lipsum}

\usepackage[para*]{manyfoot}
\DeclareNewFootnote[para]{A}
\let\oldfootnoteA\footnoteA
\renewcommand{\footnoteA}[1]{%
\oldfootnoteA{\makebox[.32\dimexpr\textwidth-2\footglue\relax][l]{#1}}} % adjust .305\textwidth


\begin{document}

Hello\footnoteA{This is some text.}
World\footnoteA{And footnote.}.

\lipsum[1]

Hello\footnoteA{This is some.}
World\footnoteA{And footnote.}.

\lipsum[1]

Hello\footnoteA{This is some.}
World\footnoteA{And footnote.}.

\end{document}

enter image description here

  • Nice! Why exactly .305\textwidth ? – Toothrot Sep 9 '15 at 16:37
  • @Lawrence this to be adjusted. normally it's 1/3=.33333.... but there is some extrat space separe footnote so. One can compute the exact value. – touhami Sep 9 '15 at 16:40
  • Doesn't work, unfortunately, just put \lipsum into one of the footnotes and you'll see. Why don't you (Lawrence) just stick to the out-of-the-box solution of bigfoot? You get the bigfoot manual by texdoc bigfoot on the command line. Footnote issues are ... complicated. – Keks Dose Sep 9 '15 at 17:41
  • @KeksDose you're right. But here the question title Short footnotes in columns – touhami Sep 9 '15 at 18:37
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    @Lawrence i edited my answer .305\textwidth replaced with .32\dimexpr\textwidth-2\footglue\relax – touhami Sep 9 '15 at 19:06

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