I am typesetting an old document in LaTeX. In order that readers will know the original pagination, I'd like to be able to insert a symbol into the text (maybe a short vertical rule?) and then have "Page 36" in the margin. Something like...

Here is some old text of mine\marginpage{Page 25} that no one cares about anymore.

I've looked at \marginpar and the marginnotes packages, but they don't do quite what I would like.

Any suggestions?

  • 1
    what do you want different to (say) |\marginpar{old page 25} ? Jul 7, 2017 at 16:39
  • Can you please add a MWE to your question that shows that you cannot use \marginpar nor \marginnote and explain why not? Jul 7, 2017 at 16:40
  • Off-Topic: We do not need a signature at the end of the question. Your authorship is automatically added right below a question. Jul 7, 2017 at 16:42
  • Take a look at the todonotes package. Jul 7, 2017 at 18:17
  • 1
    Possible duplicate of Alternatives to footnotes? Jul 8, 2017 at 1:01

1 Answer 1


Try something like this:

% \opn, for Original Page Number:
\newcommand{\opn}[1]{{\color{gray}$|$\marginnote{\small #1}}}
\textsc{Echecrates:} \opn{57} Were you with Socrates yourself, Phaedo,
on the day when he drank the poison in prison, or did you hear about
it from someone else?

\textsc{Phaedo:} I was there myself, Echecrates.

\textsc{Echecrates:} Then what did he say before his death?\ and how
did he die? I should like to hear, for nowadays none of the Phliasians
go to Athens at all, and no stranger has come from there for a long
time, \opn{b} who could tell us anything definite about this matter,
except that he drank poison and died, so we could learn no further

\textsc{Phaedo:} Did you not even hear about the trial and how it was

\textsc{Echecrates:} Yes, some one told us about that, and we wondered
that although it took place a long time ago, he was put to death much
later. Now why was that, Phaedo? \opn{58}

\textsc{Phaedo:} It was a matter of chance, Echecrates. It happened
that the stern of the ship which the Athenians send to Delos was
crowned on the day before the trial.

\textsc{Echecrates:} What ship is this?

\textsc{Phaedo:} This is the ship, as the Athenians say, in which
Theseus once went to Crete with the fourteen \opn{b} youths and
maidens, and saved them and himself. Now the Athenians made a vow to
Apollo, as the story goes, that if they were saved they would send a
mission every year to Delos. And from that time even to the present
day they send it annually in honour of the god. Now it is their law
that after the mission begins the city must be pure and no one may be
publicly executed until the ship has gone to Delos and back; and
sometimes, when contrary winds \opn{c} detain it, this takes a long
time. The beginning of the mission is when the priest of Apollo crowns
the stern of the ship; and this took place, as I say, on the day
before the trial. For that reason Socrates passed a long time in
prison between his trial and his death.

output of sample

If you’re using luatex or xetex, you can use \textsuperscript{|} instead of $|$ to make the mark small and raised, as in the image. (There’s undoubtedly a way to achieve that with pdftex, but I’ve forgotten what I used to know about pdftex…)

  • 2
    Add \usepackage[T1]{fontenc} \usepackage[utf8]{inputenc} to use \textsuperscript{|} with pdflatex.
    – Fran
    Jul 7, 2017 at 20:42
  • Many thanks. I can edit your newcommand to exactly what I wanted. I hadn't thought of the simple solution of defining a new command with a marginpar with it, I'd been looking for a package that had that functionality built in. Jul 9, 2017 at 19:36

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