Footnote Issues with Section Breaks

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Stef
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Joined: 2014-12-28 05:47:24

Footnote Issues with Section Breaks

Post by Stef » 2015-09-04 01:37:54

Hello,

I've been noticing what I think is an anomaly with the way Nisus handles footnotes, and I was wondering if I was correct and if there's a way to fix it, or if I was missing something entirely.

Here's the issue. Sometimes, at the end of a section, right before a section break which will start a new section on an odd page, Nisus will let footnotes spill over from the last page of the previous section to the first page of the new section.

Nisus seems to do this when the last page of the section is almost full of text and when a footnote comes right at the end of the page/section.

But surely this is not the intended behaviour. Surely Nisus should keep all footnotes from Section N within Section N, and not mix them up with the footnotes of Section N+1. When sections are actually chapters, the result is that the last footnote of, for example, Chapter 3, can spill over onto the first page of Chapter 4. This is surely wrong, especially when the footnote numbering is set to start again from 1 at the beginning of a new section.

I'm seeing this issue in a long document with lots of notes, but I've managed to reproduce it in the attached test file (rtf & pdf), which is short with few notes. (See note 2 at the bottom of p. 2, which spills over onto the first page of the new section, on p. 3).

Is there a setting I'm missing somewhere to fix this, or is this a bug? Any indications any of the helpful people on this forum might be able to provide would be appreciated.

Stef.
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Þorvarður
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Joined: 2012-12-19 05:02:52

Re: Footnote Issues with Section Breaks

Post by Þorvarður » 2015-09-04 06:31:05

Hello Stef,

How about inserting a Page Break just before the Section Break? That would prevent the footnote text from spilling over to the first page of the new section, but you would get an empty page. I don't know whether that is acceptable to you. I remember having seen such pages in books with footnotes.
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Stef
Posts: 31
Joined: 2014-12-28 05:47:24

Re: Footnote Issues with Section Breaks

Post by Stef » 2015-09-05 02:48:08

Thanks for your suggestion, Þorvarður. Although the manually inserted page break does stop the notes from one section overflowing into the next section, I'm still wondering if Nisus can do better. A page with no main text and only a few lines of footnotes at the bottom is less than ideal.

Also, this method involves manual intervention and some guess work, in order to place the page break correctly. Surely Nisus should be able to avoid this situation on its own. I'm pretty sure that a programme such as Nisus should be coded to make it possible to avoid the content of Section N flowing into the content of Section N+1. But I'm no expert in coding. Anyway, thanks again for your suggestion.

Stef.

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martin
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Re: Footnote Issues with Section Breaks

Post by martin » 2015-10-07 15:58:57

Thanks for letting us know about this problem Stef. You're right that the footnote's page layout could be better. I'll file a bug report.
Stef wrote:Although the manually inserted page break does stop the notes from one section overflowing into the next section, I'm still wondering if Nisus can do better. A page with no main text and only a few lines of footnotes at the bottom is less than ideal.
To me it seems that all content from a section, including any footnotes that span multiple pages, should appear before the next section starts. But it also seems that if the next section is set to break to the next/odd/even page, then it must start on top of a fresh page. Combining those two requirements points to a solution that places the remainder of the spanning footnote on an otherwise blank page.

What would you prefer to see in a solution?

Stef
Posts: 31
Joined: 2014-12-28 05:47:24

Re: Footnote Issues with Section Breaks

Post by Stef » 2015-10-09 06:46:48

Thanks once again, Martin, for your input.

I agree entirely that all content from a section, including footnotes, should appear before the next section starts.

In order to answer your question, then, I think that the best solution to the problem noted above would avoid an otherwise blank page with only footnotes at the bottom. (Like Þorvarður above, I do remember seeing a publication with an otherwise empty page and only footnote text at the bottom, but it's rare and I think it looks very unprofessional).

Obviously, this solution would become problematic when the following two conditions hold true: (1) a lengthy footnote is placed right at the end of a section and (2) the new section is set to start on a new odd or even page.

I have no idea how one might go about implementing this solution from a programming point of view, especially in the problematic scenario where a long footnote is placed at the end of a section. But it seems to me that such a solution would involve the following: a way of calculating the position of the main text on the page such that some of the last lines of the main text would be pushed onto the last page of the section in order to print the last page of the section with at least a few lines of main text accompanied by the footnote, with the explicit aim of avoiding an otherwise empty page with just the footnote at the bottom.

In short, I think that it would be best to avoid, at all costs, a page with no main text and only footnotes at the bottom.

Thanks again for your comments. Your follow-up and help is appreciated.

Stef

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martin
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Re: Footnote Issues with Section Breaks

Post by martin » 2015-10-09 13:10:54

Stef wrote:But it seems to me that such a solution would involve the following: a way of calculating the position of the main text on the page such that some of the last lines of the main text would be pushed onto the last page of the section in order to print the last page of the section with at least a few lines of main text accompanied by the footnote, with the explicit aim of avoiding an otherwise empty page with just the footnote at the bottom.
That sounds like an ideal solution. In some situations it may be difficult to achieve, but it's a good target. Thanks for your thoughts on this matter Stef!

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