footnotes

Mind the separators and alignment

Foot­notes are included with the advanced lay­out top­ics not because they’re typo­graph­i­cally dif­fi­cult, but because pry­ing their typog­ra­phy from the maw of your word proces­sor can be a chore. If you’re undaunted, the default for­mat­ting of foot­notes is flawed in sev­eral ways that are worth fix­ing:

  1. The foot­note sep­a­ra­tor is a hor­i­zon­tal line. Delete the line and just use some extra white space. (It’s fine, how­ever, to use a line sep­a­ra­tor for a foot­note con­tin­u­a­tion.)

  2. Foot­note-ref­er­ence num­bers in the body text are set in the same font, just smaller and super­scripted. These num­bers should be notice­able despite their size. If they don’t stand out enough, try mak­ing them bold, or even run­ning them in a dif­fer­ent font (a sans serif, per­haps).

  3. The ref­er­ence num­bers on the foot­notes are also shrunken super­scripts. There’s no need for this. They can be the same size as the rest of the foot­note text.

  4. The ref­er­ence num­bers on the foot­notes are indented. I pre­fer foot­notes to have a neg­a­tive first-line indent so that the ref­er­ence num­ber is aligned to the left edge of the text block, and then all the lines of the foot­note can be indented the same amount. (An effect demon­strated in this para­graph.)