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Footnotes on steroids...

Community Expert ,
Dec 06, 2023 Dec 06, 2023

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Anyone fancy better Footnotes?

 

Unlimited number of separate Footnote "threads".

Footnotes to Footnotes.

Automatic start for pre-selected locations - by Section, Spread, Page, per Table, between specific ParaStyles, etc.

Better navigation.

Any kind of numbering / letters - even multilevel, like, 1, 2, 3, 4a, 4b, 5, 6...

Or Icons / pictograms instead of letters / numbers - or mix.

Any formatting - incl. multiple columns. Side-by-side:

 

RobertTkaczyk_0-1701886042499.png

It wouldn't be 100% automatic - like it is right now - but the benefits should outweight the need for a bit of extra work...

 

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Community Expert ,
Dec 06, 2023 Dec 06, 2023

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There are a few options and variations I'd like to see (just maybe, footnotes by column), but I think you have to back up to actual style and usage here, instead of what might be technically possible. I work a lot with 'scholarly' publications and can't say as I've ever seen horizontally grouped footnotes, or a mix of those and full-width ones. I would question the experience and reasoning of anyone who wanted to use such a nonstandard, visually complicated (to the point of confusing) layout — considering that footnotes are only used in fairly formal, 'upscale' writing that has many other guidelines and standards for consistent presentation.

 

Put another way — this kind of layout could have been achieved from the lead-type days onward, and can be done right now if you more or less manually manage it. And I'm sure there's a contingent who thinks it's a good idea to kick over all those musty, fusty style guides and do it some exciting new way. (The same contingent who thinks "move fast and break things" is a useful maxim.)

 

The TL;DR here might be that publication styling is not something held back by technical limitations; the implementation in Word, ID and every other publication tool reflects the needs and requirements of a long, long-standardized presentation approach. Consistent readability, across fields and decades, is more important than individual authors' notions of how to arrange notes. Style needs drive the tech, not vice-versa.

 

But if anyone's going to work on it, getting both foot- and end notes to quit being so fraggin' fragile would be nice. 🙂


┋┊ InDesign to Kindle (& EPUB): A Professional Guide, v3.0 ┊ (Amazon) ┊┋

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Community Expert ,
Dec 06, 2023 Dec 06, 2023

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I know it's a bit unusual example - but I just wanted to show what would be possible...

 

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Community Expert ,
Dec 06, 2023 Dec 06, 2023

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I like what I see in your demo. These are most critical for our clients' work:

  • Create my own (or the author's) hierarchy of footnote numbering.
  • Combination of two or more different footnote "threads" in the same INDD file, maybe 1, 2, 3 and a, b, c and *, **, § with each series keeping track of its footnote members.
  • Ability to continue footnote numbering across independent threaded story frames within the INDD layout file. Right now, each independent threaded story restarts numbering at "1".
  • And, of course, full accessibility in the exported tagged PDF.

 

|    Bevi Chagnon   |  Designer & Technologist for Accessible Documents |
|    PubCom |    Classes & Books for Accessible InDesign, PDFs & MS Office |

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Community Expert ,
Dec 06, 2023 Dec 06, 2023

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All perfectly good wish-list items. My comment above is almost entirely about wonky, author-whim formatting, which I'd say is a Very Ungood Thing. But yes, ID's footnote system could use some functional enhancement. No question.


┋┊ InDesign to Kindle (& EPUB): A Professional Guide, v3.0 ┊ (Amazon) ┊┋

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