Date: Wed Nov 26 2003 - 11:25:18 EST
> Thanks very much for your detailed descriptions of your problems with
> footnotes. I've heard anecdotally that people have had problems with them
> but I haven't had such a nice description of the issues centralized in one
> place. I'll address these concerns and fix the problems.
Thank YOU, Martin! I expected this list to be helpful, but I didn't
think the very first reply would be a pledge to "fix the problems"!
>>4608, "very large footnotes behave very badly" (they cause crashes and
> This is a problem if the footnote gets bigger than the size of a page. I
> would be extremely surprised if anyone intentionaly wrote a document this
> way. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
As r coyne noted in another reply, footnotes longer than a page do
occur, especially in legal scholarship (and yes, usually to bad
effect!). I believe The Chicago Manual of Style (widely used in North
American publishing) recommends that at least five lines of text appear
above any note or group of notes that threatens to spill across an
entire page. Would implementing such a rule make it easier for AbiWord
to avoid the problems described in Bug 4608? I'm more worried about
avoiding crashes than facilitating mammoth notes myself . . .
>>4707, "Can't select [or compose] to the right of a where a footnote was
>>added" (this is pretty important!)
> I agree this is important I thought it was fixed. I'll check to see if it
> is and close the bug.
It's still happening in 2.0.1 (Windows build), but only if the note
number is at the end of the document. Of course, that's often where it
is when you're drafting. Specifically, if a note number is at the end of
the text and you want to get just to the right of it, you can't
mouse-click to the right or below it to place the cursor at the end of
the document, and pressing End puts you into the footnote, not at the
end of the line. (Ctrl-End puts you where you want to go, or you can
"sneak up on it" using the arrow keys -- but neither of these are
intuitive solutions for people used to Word, WordPerfect, etc.) A quick
partial fix would be to swap the functionality of End and Ctrl-End:
People's expectation that End gets them to the end of the current line
would not be broken, and Ctrl-End would become a consistent "switch into
or out of note text" key chord.
>>5495, "Footnote insertion and formatting" (can't change note formatting
>>across whole document)
> The format footnote dialog allows you to choose one of 12 different
> footnote styles and to restart footnotes per page, or per section. I'll
> check this again.
Right -- I think we're just hoping that formatting changes could also be
applied in one operation across a multisection document. I recently
edited a dissertation chapter composed in MS Word that had over two
dozen sections. It would have been a bore to perform formatting changes
two dozen times . . .
>>5598, "Footnote" (can't change footnote separator line from default
> This has not been implemented true. If it's important I'll do it.
It should be trivial, but it isn't. I know of a number of journals that
would reject a manuscript with a long, centered note separator line, and
my university would reject my dissertation if it were formatted this
way. Stylesheets that enforce such rules almost always dictate a short,
left-justified separator line (at least in the USA and Canada -- I won't
generalize to other publishing cultures!). Maybe that could be the
default until someone feels like adding a range of choices?
>>5716, "Footnotes" (can't jump from note text back to body text at site
>>of note number)
> This has not been implemented. It is actually not hard to do this. How do
> you suggest this feature be implemented.
MS Word and OpenOffice.org Writer both use Ctrl-End to jump from the
note text back to where you had been typing (just to the right of the
new note number). In AbiWord, Ctrl-End takes you to the end of the body
text, which is not necessarily where the note number is. I'd vote to do
it the Word/OOo way (it's the WordPerfect way, too, only it uses Ctrl-F4
>>5773, 5774, 5775 (deleting both a note and its in-text note number is
>>difficult and/or dangerous)
> I'll check these out. It should not be either difficult or dangerous.
The bug reports do a good job of describing these problems; I won't add
One last issue I forgot to mention earlier. I like to switch to "Web
Layout" view to reduce clutter and increase font readability. If I'm
typing there and decide to insert footnote #1, I am moved to what looks
like an empty document and I can't see any of my keystroke output. In
fact, I'm in Footnote 1 and my keystrokes are being recorded -- but it's
happening below the bottom of the screen. Once I figured this out it no
longer bothered me, but my initial reaction was that footnotes were 100%
broken, and maybe even Abiword was 100% broken. I will report this as a bug.
Anyway, thanks again, Martin! Please let me know if you need a
bug-tester on any of these issues (I can test Linux and Windows builds).
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