Latex Footnotes – Tables & Bottom of Page

A common problem while using LaTeX is nesting footnotes inside tables. If you tried to insert a footnote into a cell you already noticed the standard behavior of LaTeX: footnote get lost and doesn’t appear in your page.

If you want to change the standard behavior you have to rely on external packages like minipage or footnote. Personally I don’t like to much the minipage approach but it could be useful if you want to display immediately the notes after the table.

Generally I choose the footnote package which provides the savenotes environment, a simple wrapper of your whole table (not only the tabular environment), that catches all your table’s footnotes and display them according to the standard LaTeX behavior (ie. after the last paragraph of the page).

Here is a MWE (Minimum Working Example) of its use:

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% table's footnotes - minimum working example
\documentclass[12pt]{article}

% footnote package will provide savenotes environment
\usepackage{footnote}

\begin{document}

\begin{savenotes}
  \begin{table}[ht]
  \centering
  \begin{tabular}{|l|c|c|}
    \hline
    A & 1 & 2 \footnote{This is the first footnote.} \\
    \hline
    B & 2 & 1 \\
    \hline
    C & 3 \footnote{This is the second footnote.} & 3 \\
    \hline
  \end{tabular}
  \caption{A table caption.}
  \end{table}
\end{savenotes}

\end{document
}

According to personal taste you could prefer to display the footnotes not just after the last paragraph of the page but force them at bottom. It could be a nice choice if you want to maintain a consistent style across the whole document, avoiding to display footnotes at variable position for each page.

Changing the standard behavior is easy: just add another package in the document’s preamble, its name is footmisc. This time you can configure the package behavior passing one parameter while including the package. To forcing all footnotes at the bottom of the page simply use bottom as package’s parameter.

\usepackage[bottom]{footmisc}

Here is the previous MWE modified to force all footnotes at the bottom. Easy, isn’t?

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% table's footnotes & bottom of page - minimum working example
\documentclass[12pt]{article}

% footnote package will provide savenotes environment
% footmisc package will force all footnotes at bottom of page
\usepackage{footnote}
\usepackage[bottom]{footmisc}

\begin{document}

\begin{savenotes}
  \begin{table}[ht]
  \centering
  \begin{tabular}{|l|c|c|}
    \hline
    A & 1 &; 2 \footnote{This is the first footnote.} \\
    \hline
    B & 2 & 1 \\
    \hline
    C & 3 \footnote{This is the second footnote.} & 3 \\
    \hline
  \end{tabular}
  \caption{A table caption.}
  \end{table}
\end{savenotes}

\end{document
}

References:
http://texblog.org/2012/02/03/using-footnote-in-a-table/
http://tex.stackexchange.com/questions/4902/why-is-my-footnote-glued-to-the-text

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