Pleasures of Design

Notes frequently appear at the foot of the page in a small type size with small numbers (superior figures) in the text referring to the number of the notes. However there are other methods for doing the same thing.

The method will depend on how important the notes are to the rest of the copy. If they augment the sense of the text, then they might be prominently displayed as notes in the side margin. If the notes are simply cross references of relatively academic interest, then they might be grouped together on a page at the end of the document.

If the notes are very long, consider setting them in two columns. This will avoid very long lines of small type. It also absorbs the very short lines more neatly.

In any case, ask yourself whether footnotes are necessary. If the likely readership is not used to them, they can be very off-putting. It could be that by rephrasing the copy you could dispense with them altogether.

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