Footnote Formatting in Word
July 22, 2004 8:50 PM   Subscribe

Ack! Why does Microsoft Word move a footnote to the page following the page where the footnote is inserted (e.g. footnote reference in text is on p.14, footnote itself appears on p. 15)? Or spread the footnote across the bottom of two successive pages? It's nothing to do with (a) inserting the footnote ref near the bottom of the page, or (b) having large amounts of existing footnote text on that page. There's plenty of room for the footnote, it just goes on the next page. Thanks!
posted by carter to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
The long and short answer is precisely this: Microsoft Word sucks. There are problems with page numbering and footnotes that date back a decade that have never been even remotely resolved, let alone problems with it completely fubaring your layout should you dare decide to use a different default printer.

If you're doing any sort of lengthy document, you simply must use a better product. At the very low end you could try WordPerfect, which is a little better. At the high end you can use Adobe Framemaker or Corel Ventura, both of which excel at long documents. Do avoid InDesign and Quark; neither is well-suited to long document use due to lack of essential features.

If you want to get funky, I can assist in using reStructured Text, Docutils, and XSL:FO plus FOP or XEP to render to PDF. reST is a plaintext markup that is minimally intrusive (unlike, say, XML). Docutils converts reST to XML (and other formats). XSL:FO is a method of creating transformation templates that will convert plain XML into XML:FO, which in turn can be rendered to PDF using FOP, XEP, or other such utility.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:34 PM on July 22, 2004

I don't know what version of Word you're using, but this page suggests you can resolve the problem by monkeying around with the line spacing or de-selecting compatability with Word '97.

The relevant MS Knowledgebase articles for Word '97 and '00 are, respectively, here and here.
posted by subgenius at 9:54 PM on July 22, 2004

Response by poster: fff: I thought as much. *sigh* I have OS X so no Corel but maybe FrameMaker is the way to go. But this is due tomorrow ...

subgenius: that might just have worked ... you're a genius!
posted by carter at 10:10 PM on July 22, 2004

FYI: Apparently, Adobe Framemaker has been discontinued for the Mac platform as of April 21, 2004.

posted by chicobangs at 7:18 AM on July 23, 2004

Yah, Adobe will eventually make InDesign powerful enough to replace Framemaker.

Unfortunately, they've jumped the gun on it, because InDesign, AFAIK, is really lacking a bunch of necessary long-document features (auto ToCs, table styling, indexing, chapters, ability to move content on a whim, etc.)

InDesign has amazing typography. Best application for single-page layout, that's for sure.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:35 AM on July 23, 2004

This is a familiar nightmare. I unfondly remember trying to cram a brief into a twelve page maximum only to have it magically become thirteen in the computer lab. Footnotes are the worst.

There is no obvious solution to your answer, but one thing to do that might inadvertenly fix the pagination issues is unchecking all four boxes on the top portion of the "Line and Page Breaks" tab in the Format... Paragraph dialogue.
posted by PrinceValium at 12:21 PM on July 23, 2004

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