Formatting Footnotes

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In NeoOffice a "footnote" is composed of several distinct styles, each of which may have to be modified to achieve the style expected by your style manual. (Although this guide speaks of footnotes, the instructions are applicable to endnotes as well.)

  1. The in-text number
    • The in-text number or footnote reference is an anchor (a clickable link) to the footnote, and is represented by the Footnote anchor style, which is a character style.
  2. The bottom-of-the-page number
    • The bottom-of-the-page number, properly referred to as the footnote number, is represented by the Footnote Characters style, which is a character style.
  3. The footnote text
    • The appearance of the actual text content of footnotes is represented by the Footnote style, which is a paragraph style.
      The Footnote style also controls the "spacing" between the number and the start of the text. It helps to think of the number being separated from the text by an invisible tab character. To alter the spacing click Format and select Styles and Formatting to bring up the Styles and Formatting window. Ctrl-click the Footnote style in the window and choose Modify from the contextual menu. Click the Indents and Spacing tab. (This pane works exactly like the Paragraph window you get by clicking the Format menu and selecting Paragraph.) The settings in the Indent section control the left/right alignment of the text in relation to the page margins.
      • Before text controls the space between the margin and the beginning of your text. If this value is set to zero your footnotes will be aligned to the page margin in the same way as your main text.
      • After text controls the space between the end of your text and the far margin.
      A positive number in these items insets the beginning and ends of your text lines. A negative number puts them outside your page margins - 'offsets' them.
      • The First line setting is slightly different in that it controls the beginning of the first line of your footnote relative to the body of the footnote. Think of it as adding to or subtracting from the "Before text" indent.
      A negative number means the first line will be offset from the body of the footnote. A positive number means it will be inset into the body of the footnote.
      A standard footnote will usually have a positive value (e.g. 0.5cm) for the Before text indent, zero for the After text indent, and a negative value for the First line indent which matches the Before text indent (i.e. -0.5cm). This will produce a footnote where the footnote number is aligned to the page margin and the body of the footnote text is indented by 0.5cm. Increasing the number values of Before text and First line will increase the gap between the footnote number and the text, and vice versa. If your First line indent is a lesser value than the Before text then your footnote number will be inset from the margin by the number difference between those two values.
  4. The separator line
    • The separator line (which printers call a 'rule') is controlled by the settings in the Footnote tab in the (Default) Page Style; from the Format menu, choose Page... and then click on the Footnote tab to modify this for the current document (or modify the Default page style).
      The settings in this tab also determine spacing between individual footnotes and between the document text and footnotes.

Since all of these are styles, you can create custom styles and use your own styles in place of the default styles by selecting your styles in the various pop-up menus in the Footnote Settings dialogue (from the Tools menu, choose Footnotes...). If you use many footnote styles, or consistently need to modify the default footnote styles, you should consider including them among the styles in your default template.

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