How can I put a reference at the bottom of the page to something that I'm using? I need to do this the European way: so I want to place a small number at the end of the sentence that stands higher than the rest of the text. And at the bottom of the page, a horizontal line with the reference text/content.

So how can I do these two things?

  • Tiny numbers at the end of a sentence;
  • Reference at the bottom of the page with horizontal line on top.

Here's an example of what I mean.

enter image description here

  • 3
    Use the \footnote command: text text\footnote{the footnote text}. Sep 1, 2012 at 19:49
  • 1
    @Sled Do you mean a footnote, as suggested, or some form of citation?
    – Joseph Wright
    Sep 1, 2012 at 19:59
  • 1
    Footnotes are described in section 2.9 of lshort. If you mean citations in fotnotes, please clarify your question.
    – lockstep
    Sep 1, 2012 at 20:00
  • 6
    It should be noted that the justification for closing this question is bad. Sled asked an honest question for a real problem: how does one create footnotes in TeX? The only thing was, he didn't know that TeX has an automatic way of handling this, so he described it explicitly. To think that no one else would ever ask a similar beginner question is ridiculous. At most, this question should be marked as a duplicate and pointed toward an existing question describing how to make footnote citations. Jun 15, 2015 at 14:23
  • 2
    Better practice would have been to put a temp hold on this question, ask Sled for clarifying details, and then answer his question (as lockstep has graciously done in detail) without closing it. Jun 15, 2015 at 14:25

1 Answer 1


Your question is actually about two things: How to produce a footnote, and how to embed a citation to a reference (here: an URL) into such a note.

Footnotes are produced with the standard LaTeX command \footnote{<Some text>}. LaTeX will add a superscript number at the position in the running text where you used \footnote, and will add the same number plus <Some text> at the bottom of the page. It will also add a rule to separate the actual notes from the running text.

To embed a citation into a footnote, you could simply write the appropriate text in the argument of \footnote. Another way that is suitable if you have a lot of references is to write them into a separate data file (in a special format called .bib) and to use specialized LaTeX packages (e.g., biblatex) to extract the data and integrate them into your main document -- e.g., in the form of footnotes.

In the following example, I'm using a data file called myreferences.bib that contains a data entry for the very question you asked -- the title, the year, and the URL. The entry is of the type @online and has the key foo12 (you could call it however you want). In your .tex file (and with the help of the biblatex package), I use the command \footcite{foo12} which will produce a footnote reference to your question. (Because I chose style=verbose, the full data will be printed; other styles would produce only an excerpt.) The \printbibliography command is used to produce the full data of all referenced entries at the end of the document.

EDIT: One more (still fairly basic) thing: The example must be compiled not only with (pdf)LaTeX, but with (pdf)LaTeX -- biber -- (pdf)LaTeX. Most editors suitable for LaTeX will offer automatic ways to do the necessary compilation steps.



\usepackage{filecontents}% to embed the file `myreferences.bib` in your `.tex` file

  year = {2012},
  title = {footnote-reference-using-european-system},
  url = {http://tex.stackexchange.com/questions/69716/footnote-reference-using-european-system},

% File is created and written to disk by the above package


\null\vfill% to make the text height smaller for the example

\section{First section}

Some text.\footnote{Some text in a footnote.} Some more text.\footcite{foo12}



enter image description here

  • One more question: any idea why a long URL wouldn't be hyphenated in the \footnote{}? One URL is working fine but I have another one that is totally ignoring my pagemargins. I can't see any obvious difference between the URl's. Sep 1, 2012 at 21:59
  • 1
    @Sled URLs are tricky to hyphenat, but biblatex knows a lot of tricks. If a particular URL fails to hyphenate, that's really stuff for a separate question (though I would at least try to not escape the # sign in your case).
    – lockstep
    Sep 1, 2012 at 22:00
  • Without escaping the # sign it was giving compilation errors, but I fixed it by manually adding a - Sep 1, 2012 at 22:10
  • Using biblatex and footcite I get a footnote with the reference label instead of the citation details.
    – Kvothe
    Mar 17 at 16:51

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