I was wondering if there is way to change the symbols of footnotes to any symbol I want. I know there are some packages that put away the numbers and use predefined symbols, but I want to use some arbitrary symbol. Is there a way?


The footnote symbol code is actually very simple:

\def\@fnsymbol#1{\ensuremath{\ifcase#1\or *\or \dagger\or \ddagger\or
   \mathsection\or \mathparagraph\or \|\or **\or \dagger\dagger
   \or \ddagger\ddagger \else\@ctrerr\fi}}

So, if you were to copy that definition and replace \ddagger by \forall, then the third footnote would get an inverted A.

Do not forget to actually change the footnote counter to fnsymbol:

  • Note that if you redefine \@fnsymbol, you need to preceded the command above by a "\makeatletter" and follow it with a "\makeatother". – Jon Jun 5 '17 at 16:19
  • @thymaro, counting to three is difficult, it seems:-) – David Carlisle Mar 29 '18 at 16:00
  • No offense. I read the answer and was confused as to why the second one should be changing and figured I just didn't get it. After going through the code with a little more care, I noticed why my understanding didn't align with what was written. Then, I decided other people might be as offset (p.i.) as me when reading the answer, so I changed it. Happy Easter! :D – thymaro Mar 29 '18 at 16:57
  • @thymaro that's fine thanks for the edit, I never mind if typos and falsehoods get edited out of my answers, that's how the site is supposed to work.. – David Carlisle Mar 29 '18 at 18:05
  • your method may work for this tex.stackexchange.com/q/471861/41144, if so, feel free to comment? – wonderich Jan 25 '19 at 16:59

As starting point the definition of \@fnsymbol can be used (latex.ltx, source2e.pdf: "21 Counter and Lengths". The following example goes a step further and removes the upper limit for the counter value. If needed the symbol will be multiplied (see the doubling of symbols in \@fnsymbol) with the help of package alphalph:


    \ifcase#1% 0
    \or % 1
    \or % 2
    \or % 3  
    \or % 4   
    \or % 5
    \else % >= 6


% remove upper boundary by multiplying the symbols if needed





You can use footmisc and define a set of symbols with \DefineFNsymbols (text-only symbols, i.e. no math) and \DefineFNsymbolsTM (for text or math symbols)

\DefineFNsymbolsTM{myfnsymbols}{% def. from footmisc.sty "bringhurst" symbols
  \textasteriskcentered *
  \textdagger    \dagger
  \textdaggerdbl \ddagger
  \textsection   \mathsection
  \textbardbl    \|%
  \textparagraph \mathparagraph

And call it with


Here's a MWE

\DefineFNsymbolsTM{myfnsymbols}{% def. from footmisc.sty "bringhurst" symbols
  \textasteriskcentered *
  \textdagger    \dagger
  \textdaggerdbl \ddagger
  \textsection   \mathsection
  \textbardbl    \|%
  \textparagraph \mathparagraph

footmisc footnote symbols example


I found these explanations a bit confusing. I wanted $\star$ as a footnote symbol, so I just did


and now I get what I want on the next footnote.

I assume that this generalizes to any symbol X by writing

  • 10
    While this might work, it also fixes the footnote symbol to $\star$ for all subsequent footnotes. – Werner Oct 27 '13 at 17:39

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