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I find it a good typographic practice to make footnotes immediately follow the text on closing pages of chapters or sections, where much of the page may be blank rather than filled with text.

In the attached picture this is done in B, as opposed to the more common attitude of leaving the notes at the foot of the page, as in A. Note that the footnote in B is following from the preceding page. Of course, the spacing between text and notes on end pages should be consistent with that set for the rest of the document.

How do I get LaTeX typeset footnotes in such a way (B)?


Edit. The solution should work in every documentclass, but specifically in books; it should not affect footnotes behaviour globally.

Also, could it be possible to implement it so that if less than an a certain quantity (that may be measured in cm, em, or percentage of available space) of the page spage is blank, then the spacing is the default one?

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I prepend \footnoterule with a \vfilneg, to suck up any space between the text and the footnote (that is to say, it cancels the \vfil that is otherwise present).

\documentclass{article}
\let\svfootnoterule\footnoterule
\renewcommand\footnoterule{\vfilneg\svfootnoterule}
\begin{document}
xyz\footnote{pdq}
\end{document}

enter image description here

If you preferred a specified, rather than zero space, you can just add that:

\documentclass{article}
\let\svfootnoterule\footnoterule
\renewcommand\footnoterule{\vfilneg\vspace{\baselineskip}\svfootnoterule}
\begin{document}
xyz\footnote{pdq}
\end{document}

enter image description here

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  • 1
    Thank you. I add that to in order to have unruled footnotes one can declare \renewcommand\svfootnoterule{\rule{\linewidth}{0pt}} just after \let\svfootnoterule\footnoterule. Unfortunately though, your solution doesn't work with footnotes spanning across pages (see B in the picture). The text following from a previous page is left at the bottom of the page. – Mattia Apr 15 at 15:47
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    @Mattia I just tried my technique with a footnote that wraps to the next page, and it works fine, for my MWE \documentclass{article} \usepackage{lipsum} \let\svfootnoterule\footnoterule \renewcommand\footnoterule{\vfilneg\svfootnoterule} \begin{document} xyz \lipsum[1-4] \footnote{pdq \lipsum[1-2]} \lipsum[5] \end{document} – Steven B. Segletes Apr 15 at 19:21
  • Indeed it works, but that's no longer true when you try to do that in a book, as I did the first time. MWE \documentclass{book} \usepackage{lipsum} \let\svfootnoterule\footnoterule \renewcommand\svfootnoterule{\rule{\linewidth}{0pt}} \renewcommand\footnoterule{\vfilneg\vspace{\baselineskip}\svfootnoterule} \begin{document} xyz \lipsum[1-4] \footnote{pdq \lipsum[1-2]} \lipsum[5] \end{document} – Mattia Apr 16 at 9:13
  • @Mattia "when you try to do that in a book, as I did the first time", which is why it is so important to provide an MWE with your question, rather than just a code snippet, or worse, just an image. – Steven B. Segletes Apr 16 at 11:51

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