Need to add footnotes to footnotes

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Need to add footnotes to footnotes

Postby Sajiky » Wed Feb 19, 2020 8:47 pm

Is it possible to add footnotes to footnotes? If so how?

I really hope it's possible, it's vital to my book. I'll need to do it fairly often.

Thanks.
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Re: Need to add footnotes to footnotes

Postby RoryOF » Wed Feb 19, 2020 9:05 pm

As far as I know the OpenDocument specification does not allow footnotes to footnotes. A quick test with OpenOffice shows that this is not possible, at least using any straightforward method.

You can, however, insert a bulleted or numbered list in the body of a footnote. This might allow you to distinguish your remarks from the body of the footnote, by using a different numbering system to that of the footnotes, also by using a different type style or size.

 Edit: In a footnote you could manually insert markers as superscripts and later in that footnote insert the marker and its text; i.e., you are manually inserting _your_ footnotes. You probably should develop some styles to help you. 
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Re: Need to add footnotes to footnotes

Postby jrkrideau » Thu Feb 20, 2020 3:12 am

I do not think any of the normal word-processors will do this. Latex might.

What kind of document requires footnotes within footnotes? Someone may be able to suggest a workaround.
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Re: Need to add footnotes to footnotes

Postby Hagar Delest » Thu Feb 20, 2020 9:16 am

I don't really see the point of a footnote within a footnote.
Either make the footnote longer with a kind of "Note" at some point to show you're detailing the idea. Or move the footnote to a dedicated paragraph in the main text (or brackets depending on the length) and put the footnote of the footnote as a footnote of the new main text.

As a reader, I would be rather annoyed by having to follow different levels of footnotes.
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Re: Need to add footnotes to footnotes

Postby RoryOF » Thu Feb 20, 2020 10:48 am

I agree with both JRKrideau and Hagar Delest about not liking the concept of footnotes to footnotes. I tried to answer the question within the limits of using OpenOffice to attempt this, but I really think the problem of why this is perceived to be necessary needs to be correctly stated and perhaps reconsidered.

I have seen footnotes to footnotes in a few books published in the 1840s, where the author was expanding on the early Latin and Gaelic sources he had used, and an editor or second author was commenting on the translations of these earlier works. From memory, such books often had footnotes extending to several pages, and by modern standards are nearly unreadable! The body-type and footnotes in them were hand set.

 Edit: Were I faced with the need to do this (and remember, I don't like it or approve of it!), I'd set the footnotes as Endnotes, whether to the chapter or the document, and then footnote the endnotes. But note, OpenOffice won't do this - the OpenDocument format does not permit this, so the footnoting to the endnotes would have to be done by hand. 
Last edited by RoryOF on Thu Feb 20, 2020 11:16 am, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: Typo in bbcode
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Re: Need to add footnotes to footnotes

Postby John_Ha » Thu Feb 20, 2020 3:52 pm

Sajiky wrote:Is it possible to add footnotes to footnotes?

As a reader I would find footnotes to footnotes completely ridiculous if I ever had the misfortune to encounter them.

If it's important enough to be on the page then put it in the text.

If it's important enough to put it in the footnote then put it in the footnote itself.

Methinks a rethink is required!
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Re: Need to add footnotes to footnotes

Postby jrkrideau » Fri Feb 21, 2020 4:19 am

Well as the (self-appointed) President of the Society for the Abolition of Footnotes and Endnotes I tend to agree with John_Ha but there seem to be some disciplines, especially in the Humanities, where this sort of thing is demanded. Heck, it is possible to have two completely independent sets of footnotes. :knock:

Anyway, I poked around in the Latex packages and found that one can do something that may be what the the OP needs. See the attachment.

And yes, I see that two footnotes are the same but I cannot find the original file to correct it and unless the OP wants to try using this approach, I am not about to recreate it. It is not that hard but it is weird to do.
Attachments
footnotes.all.the.way.down.pdf
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Re: Need to add footnotes to footnotes

Postby John_Ha » Fri Feb 21, 2020 3:53 pm

jrkrideau wrote:Well as the (self-appointed) President of the Society for the Abolition of Footnotes and Endnotes

Hello fellow self appointed President.

I am the self appointed President of the Pedant's Society (or should that be Pedants' ?) ;)
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Re: Need to add footnotes to footnotes

Postby jrkrideau » Sat Feb 22, 2020 12:08 am

John_Ha wrote:
Sajiky wrote:Is it possible to add footnotes to footnotes?

As a reader I would find footnotes to footnotes completely ridiculous if I ever had the misfortune to encounter them.


If you don't like the idea of footnotes then endnotes could cause apoplexy. There is nothing like flipping from pg. 45 to pg. 389 and back every thirty seconds. They may be one of Satan's greatest inventions.
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Re: Need to add footnotes to footnotes

Postby jrkrideau » Sat Feb 22, 2020 12:12 am

John_Ha wrote:
jrkrideau wrote:Well as the (self-appointed) President of the Society for the Abolition of Footnotes and Endnotes

Hello fellow self appointed President.

I am the self appointed President of the Pedant's Society (or should that be Pedants' ?) ;)


I'd say Pedants' Society unless you are just referring to yourself. How goes the membership drive?
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Re: Need to add footnotes to footnotes

Postby Lupp » Sat Feb 22, 2020 12:56 pm

Being not a president at all but rather a tinkerer:
I tried a bit using "macros" and studied the API. Result: There's no way.

Next question: Can footnotes or endnotes linked to anchors inside footnotes or endnotes get saved to the persistent representation (aka "file") in compliance with the opendocument specification? If not so any further attempt would be in vain.

In this context I first time noticed that V1.3 of ODF recently was approved. You find it here: https://www.oasis-open.org/news/announc ... -opendocum.

Since I only spent very limited time on this I only can report my provisional answer to the mentioned question which is "no". However, there might be an opening clause somewhere. You may study chapter 6.3 of "OpenDocument-v1.3-cs01-part3-schema" to be found on the above linked page if you want to decide yourself. Again: Don't miss to look for an opening clause applicable to footnotes. If one exists at least a feature request could be accepted (at he expense of a new incompatibility).
Last edited by Lupp on Sat Feb 22, 2020 1:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Need to add footnotes to footnotes

Postby RoryOF » Sat Feb 22, 2020 1:07 pm

My inspection of the OpenDocument specification 1.2 showed that footnotes were not permitted within footnotes. I think I looked at 1.3, to the same effect.

As I don't approve of footnotes to footnotes (I align myself with jrkrideau and John_Ha), I didn't follow this any further.

The OP has not revisited the thread since shortly after his first posting.

One could manually insert a marker (differing from the real footnote markers, to avoid confusion) within a footnote, and, still within the footnote, insert a whitespace line break and then, possibly in different type style, the marker and associated comment.

footnotes.odt
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Re: Need to add footnotes to footnotes

Postby jrkrideau » Sat Feb 22, 2020 6:49 pm

I like it as a solution. Horrible idea (shudder) but if required it should work well. I'd probably probably create a subfootnote style and be merrily on my way.
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Re: Need to add footnotes to footnotes

Postby RoryOF » Sat Feb 22, 2020 7:00 pm

While the sub footnotes have to be handled manually (either by styles or a macro), because their text is included in a normal footnote, their layout and repositioning in the event of page overflow is handled by OO.
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Re: Need to add footnotes to footnotes

Postby Sajiky » Sat Feb 29, 2020 5:40 am

Thanks for the help guys, real life interfered with my writing for a bit, so just checking back now.

For those who were curious, I am writing my memoirs, kinda. It's a humorous book about my time in prison (in the 90s). A lot of the humor comes in the form of asides directly to the reader, and at times I want an aside in an aside (I tend to get sidetracked easily, but it's working for the book). So I'd use them to make it clear that a current aside is meant as an aside to an existing aside instead of simply a second aside to the same part of the main body of the book (I feel like a bit of an aside, well the ass part anyway, myself after that sentence).

If you've ever read Terry Pratchett, think about how his footnotes often are, just taken to the extreme.
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Re: Need to add footnotes to footnotes

Postby Sajiky » Sat Feb 29, 2020 5:47 am

And also as to approval, I'm really not the sort to seek approval for much of anything (hence the time in prison I spose). Plus I tend to believe almost everything has a use of some sort.
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