The context is collaborative latex writing using GIT and some online repository. I have a simple macro that uses a counter to index notes in a pdf, which puts a number in the margin:


\newcommand{\note}[1]{% a simple margin note
        \refstepcounter{mynote}% step counter
        {\color{red} ToNote;~#1
        \marginnote{\color{red}\mbox{\textbf{[\themynote]}}}}% the note
Here is some text \note{with a note.}


The problem with this solution is that the labels will change (in general) each time a new note is added in the text. This makes it hard to discuss when several versions are pushed/merged, with text edits and new notes added.

I have no MWE for this as I am not sure how I should proceed: would writing some data in an auxiliary file be optimal ? Maybe there would be a way to use the hash of the last commit ? That would probably lead to rather random and annoying label names though.

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  • 1
    unrelated but you are missing a % after #1 (otherwise you get at least a word space and possibly a line break between the text and the node holding the marginpar) Dec 13, 2016 at 12:44

1 Answer 1


This is really no different to \section{hello} or any other automatically numbered thing.

The standard latex way would be to use \note{\label{abc}some text here} then you have the internal stable identifier label abc which you can refer to in discussion (or in the document as \ref{abc}) even if the text or number of the note changes.

  • Well I suppose I wanted to make it simpler for my collaborators, so that they did not to have to add a label by hand every time, but maybe that's definitely the only rather simple way to go.
    – picop
    Dec 13, 2016 at 15:42

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