How to Rearrange the Display of Horizontally Delineated Footnotes

For very brief footnotes, which happens from time to time, I would like to delineate them in a horizontal fashion.

I figured that I can do this by specifying a number of columns for the footnotes, say three, and have the footnotes appear sequentially in a horiztonal fashion; and with a new line of footnotes beginning with the fourth footnote.

The code I have used is

\documentclass{book}
\usepackage[extrafootnotefeatures]{bidi}
\threecolumnfootnotes

\begin{document}
\thispagestyle{empty}

Two words.\footnote{Column1 footnote} And more words.\footnote{Column2 footnote} And some more words.\footnote{Column3 footnote} The penultimate words.\footnote{Column1 footnote} The last words.\footnote{Column2 footnote}
\end{document}


Unfortunately, this produces the output

Question: I am working on a document that starts out by listing the footnotes in a conventional manner. However, later on, there are some groups of very short footnotes that I would like to display differently. Is there a way to change the footnoting in midstream---and arrange these footnotes so that the first three appear sequentially on the first line, and the fourth and fifth (and sixth when necessary) on the second line---and so forth for a greater number of footnotes?---Also, I would like the flexibility to be able to (within the same document) to return to the conventional way of footnoting.

I have been able to do what I have shown with the bidi package---though it only runs with Xelatex. Is there a way to do what I am looking for using Pdflatex only?

Thank you.

The footmisc package offers a variety of footnote styles but unfortunately I don't think it can help with your particular problem, but please check it out to see if you can use it.

If you are willing to use the memoir class (a superset of book, report and article) then I think that that provides what you are after by using paragraphed footnotes instead of columnar ones.

% footnoteprob.tex  SE 582232

\documentclass{memoir}
\begin{document}
\thispagestyle{empty}
%\plainfootnotes % the regular footnote styling
Regular footnote styling. Two words.\footnote{Column1 footnote} And more words.\footnote{Column2 footnote}
And some more words.\footnote{Column3 footnote}
The last words.\footnote{Column4 footnote}

\paragraphfootnotes
Paragraph footnote styling. Two words.\footnote{Column1 footnote} And more words.\footnote{Column2 footnote}
And some more words.\footnote{Column3 footnote}
The last words.\footnote{Column4 footnote}
\newpage
\threecolumnfootnotes
Thre column footnote styling. Two words.\footnote{Column1 footnote} And more words.\footnote{Column2 footnote}
And some more words.\footnote{Column3 footnote}
The last words.\footnote{Column4 footnote}

\newpage
\plainfootnotes
Regular footnote styling. Two words.\footnote{Column1 footnote} And more words.\footnote{Column2 footnote}
And some more words.\footnote{Column3 footnote}
The last words.\footnote{Column4 footnote}

\end{document}


Note that you can move between different styles, but ordering could be problematic if different styles are used on the same page.

• Thank you for posting this answer. It helps. However, when I run it in the Memoir class as you have indicated, footnotes 9, 11, 12 appear on the first line---followed by 10 directly undeneath 9. Is there a way to have 9, 10, 11 appear on the first line with 12 directly underneath 9? Many thanks. Feb 6 '21 at 19:14
• @SamuelBowditch I have shown you the difference between \threecolumnfootnotes and \paragraphfootnotes. As I showed you can't get what you want wirth \threecolumnfootnotes so (reluctantly) consider using \paragraphhfootnotes instead. Feb 7 '21 at 19:01