In a document, I am using


together with the \footcite command, and everything is perfect. There is a difficulty when I want to include a reference within a longer footnote containing extra text. I tried something like

\footnote{extra text extra text \cite{key} extra text}

but the output format of the \cite command will not be the same as the format of the \footcite command. There must be a work around somewhere but I cannot figure out which one.

3 Answers 3


Use of the prenote and postnote fields can be awkward for footnotes with multiple sentences. This approach also can't generate citation lists with delimiters other than the semicolon. You can define a new citation command that behaves like \cite in the body text and like \footcite in footnotes, barring the citation wrappers (\mkbibparens and \mkbibfootnote, respectively).

The document below provides an example called \textcite, since biblatex-mla doesn't define its own \textcite command. The code is adapted from mla.cbx.






\newcommand{\cmd}[1]{\texttt{\textbackslash #1}}

\cmd{footcites}.\footcites[See][10--15]{bertram}[compare with][9]{worman}
\cmd{textcite} inside \cmd{footnote}.\footnote{See \textcite[10--15]{bertram}. Compare with \textcite[9]{worman}.}

\cmd{textcite} inside \cmd{footnote}.\footnote{See \textcite[10--15]{companion}. Compare with \textcite[9]{knuth:ct}.}
\cmd{footcites}.\footcites[See][10--15]{companion}[compare with][9]{knuth:ct}

\textcite{companion} showed that...
\textcite[10--15]{knuth:ct} showed that...

enter image description here

  • Great. I knew that something like that would be possible but it is way beyond my knowledge. Thanks
    – pluton
    Apr 1, 2012 at 3:33
  • @pluton No problem. Your second comment on lockstep's post was what prompted me to answer.
    – Audrey
    Apr 1, 2012 at 5:02
  • ok, I just found a limitation of the proposed solution when \foreignblockcquote from the csquotes package is used. Also, I do not see any mention of the footcites command in the help guide while footcite is documented through \SetCiteCommand{\footcite} [page 25]. A feature request for the csquotes package may be necessary when more than one citation is used in \foreignblockcquote.
    – pluton
    Apr 16, 2012 at 3:47
  • @pluton I'm not familiar with \foreignblockquote. The status of the author of csquotes is unknown ATM. You could try posting a new question. I'd use a standard style in the MWE as biblatex-mla is outdated (read: prone to break) with any biblatex version after 1.0.
    – Audrey
    Apr 16, 2012 at 14:57

I think you can put the extra text in the \footcite command. From the manual

\footcite[ prenote ][ postnote ]{ key }

So you could use the pre- and postnote for this. Probably

\footcites( pre )( post )[ pre ][ post ]{ key }...[ pre ][ post ]{ key }

might fit you even better.

  • interesting but I have two different citations in the same footnote.
    – pluton
    Mar 31, 2012 at 17:14
  • 2
    @pluton then \footcites is what you are looking for! You can have pre- and postnotes for each citation, as well as a pre- and postnote for the entire footnote.
    – jmc
    Mar 31, 2012 at 17:20
  • Works perfectly!
    – pluton
    Mar 31, 2012 at 17:28

According to p. 3 of the biblatex-mla documentation, "[w]hen using biblatex-mla for footnotes, the style file will provide full bibliographic detail for the first citation of every source". Starting with the second citation, the short form will be used, i.e., \footcite will produce the same output as \cite (apart from typesetting it as a footnote).




  author = {Author, A.},
  year = {2001},
  title = {Alpha},


\textheight=150pt% just for the example


Some text.\footcite{A01}

Some text.\footcite{A01}

Some text.\footnote{Text inside a footnote, plus a citation \cite{A01}.}



enter image description here

  • but what happens when the citation in the footnote is the first citation?
    – pluton
    Mar 31, 2012 at 17:14
  • 1
    @pluton Not the thing you'd like to. :-( You could use jmc's answer as a workaround, though the pre- and postnote arguments aren't design for multi-paragraph text.
    – lockstep
    Mar 31, 2012 at 17:17
  • lockstep: I have something like \footnote{\cite{key1}. The reader may also be interested in~\cite{key2}} whey key1 and key2 are called for the first time.
    – pluton
    Mar 31, 2012 at 17:20
  • @pluton You could use \footcites. Again, see jmc's answer.
    – lockstep
    Mar 31, 2012 at 17:22
  • 2
    @lockstep \cite is wrapped in \mkbibparens, so inside a footnote it actually doesn't give the same output as \footcite.
    – Audrey
    Mar 31, 2012 at 20:55

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