I have found that setting \widowpenalty=10000\clubpenalty=10000 in the main document has not prevented widows and clubs from appearing occasionally in footnotes in a long and complex document I am working on.

I eliminated those widows and clubs by adding the same commands to a new command for creating footnotes:


but it seems to me that this is rather wasteful since it calls the two penalty commands over and over again. Is there, instead, a pair of commands that specify widow and club penalties for footnotes, and that only need to be called once?

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    BTW, end explicit numbers with a space or \relax. Otherwise consider, what happens, if #1 starts with a number. – Heiko Oberdiek Aug 6 '12 at 3:26

Define for example \interfootnotelinepenalty=100 or try 10000· Macro \footnote uses the given \interfootnotelinepenalty if a pagebreak is necessary in your footnote.


The package bigfoot provides much better footnote breaking facilities than the default. Loading it alone will often fix bad breaking issues.

By default it also defines:

  • Thanks. I looked for a while at bigfoot, but the documentation is scanty and I wasn't able to find many examples on-line. It seemed easier to stick with better-document packages or basic TeX and LaTeX commands. – brannerchinese Aug 6 '12 at 17:09
  • @brannerchinese -- Sure, but all you need to do is change the settings I listed to control how bad things need to get before you allow widows and orphans in your footnotes. Most of the other stuff bigfoot does is for things beyond normal footnote needs. (Anyway, it worked for me when I changed these settings.) – jon Aug 6 '12 at 17:19
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    I see that a lot of bigfoot's functionality can be learned about by reading the comments in the bigfoot.dtx file, available here: ctan.mirrorcatalogs.com/macros/latex/contrib/bigfoot/… – brannerchinese Aug 6 '12 at 23:30

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