I am writing a manuscript using the SPIE style class found here: http://spie.org/Documents/Publications/spie-proceedings-style.zip

The SPIE style class intends to make citations appear as superscripts. So if I write

This method fails in the non-singular case\cite{some-citation}.

and if some-citation were the 3rd citation, then it would appear in the following manner:

This method fails in the non-singular-case³.

However, if I have a book reference by the name of another-citation, and I wish to additionally cite a specific section in the book, the citation will not appear in superscript form. In particular, if I were to write:

Here, all the eigenvalues are negative\cite{another-citation, Sec.~2.15}.

Then I would have the result

Here, all the eigenvalues are negative [5, Sec. 2.15].

provided that another-citation is the 5th citation. How do I make it so that "5, Sec. 2.15" appears in the superscript, while still using the SPIE style class?

1 Answer 1


The SPIE class includes the line \RequirePackage[superscript]{cite}. From the documentation of the cite package:

With package option [superscript] (or [super] for short), citations are displayed as superscripts, except those with an optional note, which are printed on-line with brackets.

I.e., this is the intended behavior of the package, although the SPIE class authors may (or may not) have had different intentions. You could ask them to clarify.

If you want, you can define a custom command to print the cite notes in superscript as well.

MWE, with(out) a random bibliography:



Normal citing\cite{a,b}. And a reference with a note.\citenote{a}{Sec~1}



enter image description here

Note: a disadvantage of this approach is that formatting of the surrounding text by the cite package is disabled (e.g., moving the period in the example).

  • Thank you! Also thank you for the suggestion to ask the SPIE class authors. I can see why it might be more visually appealing to print the citation on-line instead. The reason I asked the question is that the SPIE style guide says that the citations should be superscript (assuming I read it correctly), and doesn't seem to make any exceptions for the case where I include the section number. So I might alternatively just ask for clarification from the SPIE style guide authors. Thanks again!
    – Alex
    Apr 17, 2017 at 19:06

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