I have somewhat bizarre footnote placement in a document that I'm typing. Unfortunately, I'm also having trouble reducing it to a minimum not-working example as this behaviour seems to depend on many factors, including the specific sizes of certain floats (replacing one by a vertical line of only roughly the right size removed the problem). So any help on how to track down the problem would be as greatly appreciated as solving it itself.

To specifics, I have a footnote in a document and the footnote is being put two pages after the footnote mark. There are no other footnotes, but there are a lot of floats. Enough, in fact, that the intervening page is a float page. The footnote command itself is not near the page break.

Some hopefully relevant details:

  1. The line containing the footnote command is the last sentence of a section, though it is followed by some displayed mathematics.
  2. There is enough room for the first two paragraphs of the next section on the page (though each is short: 2 lines and 3 lines).
  3. There are five figures in quick succession. The first gets displayed on the page with the \footnote command. The next three go on a special float page, and the fourth goes on the next page.
  4. The footnote goes on the page after the float page.
  5. The footnote itself is only a short sentence.

So it feels as though some bizarre spacing is meaning that the footnote doesn't get placed on the correct page, then the float page pushes it one further than that.

The document itself is quite complicated, and in trying to reduce it to a MWE, I find it very difficult to consistently reproduce the problem.

So, to sum up:

  1. How do I say "this footnote belongs on this page"?
  2. How does (La)TeX figure out where footnotes go?
  3. If there aren't good answers to the above, any suggestions on what to concentrate on when trying to debug this would be greatly appreciated.
  • are the figures free floating or are you using [htbp]?
    – yannisl
    Commented Dec 8, 2010 at 20:01
  • @Yiannis: free floating (as far as I can tell, in that I don't specify anything). Commented Dec 8, 2010 at 20:08
  • Try \makeatletter \@doclearpage \makeatother , just after the culprit footnote.
    – yannisl
    Commented Dec 8, 2010 at 20:53

1 Answer 1


I would try the bigfoot package. The author, David Kastrup, recommended it here for that purpose.

  • 1
    The link to the newsgroup posting is broken... I wasn't able to track it down to find a replacement, might you give a try? Commented Jan 5, 2021 at 15:20

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