I know how to make a footnote to a footnote with package bigfoot. Is it possible to make a third layer of footnotes, namely a footnote to the footnote of a footnote? I am not kidding. I do need this to make a report of the study of ancient literature.


  • 2
    Coming from a field where footnotes are sparse, I would love to see what the use case for three levels of them is. And I'm amazed that it's so easy to do with TeX. Oct 9, 2016 at 23:56
  • Many people (not me) dislike even texts with single levels of footnotes. Think twice if another layout could be better, for instance, with linguex or gb4e. There are more sup­port for lin­guis­tics in CTAN.
    – Fran
    Oct 10, 2016 at 7:09
  • 1
    @Fran: Tell me you've never seen a footnote bigger than a page.
    – Joshua
    Oct 10, 2016 at 16:10
  • @RobinEkman I've never used one, but it's not uncommon, for instance, to see in a footnote a large body of text that is cited. That means the footnote itself gets blockquote text, and within that it's pretty easy to see how it could end up with the need for a footnote. I've thankfully managed with just bracketing comments, but now that I know I can do it.... }:-) Oct 10, 2016 at 17:11
  • @Joshua ...Yes I saw it, as well as a Komodo dragon longer than a a basketball player, and a tapeworm longer than two humans... and some others monstrosities.
    – Fran
    Oct 10, 2016 at 19:06

1 Answer 1


Sure, you can create as many footnote levels as you like, as shown in the example below. You can also create a footnoteD from within footnoteB, but watch out, this can screw up the sorting of the footnotes quite badly. So please, think of your poor reader and don't skip levels, and keep the footnote'ception to a minimum.

PS: the % at the end of each line is to prevent LaTeX from adding a space between the end of the text and the footnote symbol






Just some normal text\footnoteA{with footnotes!} and even more text
\footnoteA{This is a nice footnote.%
    \footnoteB{Another footnote.%
        \footnoteC{Even one more footnote.%
            \footnoteD{Omg, when does this end?%
                \footnoteE{Please stop!%
                    \footnoteF{Ok, fine... Just this last one!}


  • Just put a % at the end of the lines, and you'll avoid the spaces in the output. Oct 9, 2016 at 21:05
  • @TorbjørnT. thanks for the hint - would have expected that I need to remove the indention as well. Definitely nicer that way, thank you!
    – hbaderts
    Oct 9, 2016 at 21:14
  • 1
    @hbaderts The % makes all text until the end of the line a comment and strips the leading whitespace in the following line.
    – Bakuriu
    Oct 10, 2016 at 7:23
  • 2
    You should put a footnote to itself at the end: infinite footnotation.
    – coredump
    Oct 10, 2016 at 11:40
  • 4
    @hbaderts You can cheat. For example, with the default footnote: Recursion\footnote{See also: recursion\addtocounter{footnote}{-1}\footnotemark{}}.
    – coredump
    Oct 10, 2016 at 15:05

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