[XeTeX] Floated tables below footnotes

John Was john.was at ntlworld.com
Wed Oct 29 10:15:33 CET 2008

On positioning, the old rule (in hot-metal days at OUP) was that if an 
illustration or other floating item occupied up to half the page-depth it 
should be placed slightly above centre (i.e. it's central point should be 
slightly above the central point of the page-depth); larger floats should be 
placed either at the top (preferable) or the bottom so that readers don't 
have just a few lines to read above and below the float; but it was never 
envisaged that anything should appear below a footnote:  the footnotes are 
always the last item on the page (if one discounts items such as below-page 
catch-lines or copyright-lines).

The various permutations are usefully illustrated at the end of Hart's Rules 
if you can get hold of a copy, and of course these old regulations were 
slowly evolved over several centuries of printing academic books.  (But then 
I'm old-fashioned enough to think [most of the time] that the highest praise 
you can bestow on a modern book is that it looks nearly as good as the real 


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Ulrike Fischer" <news2 at nililand.de>
To: <xetex at tug.org>
Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 2008 8:58 AM
Subject: Re: [XeTeX] Floated tables below footnotes

> Am Wed, 29 Oct 2008 14:39:38 +1030 schrieb Will Robertson:
>> On Wed, Oct 29, 2008 at 1:12 PM, Mike Maxwell <maxwell at umiacs.umd.edu> 
>> wrote:
>>> Bizarre that LaTeX should do this (float a table below a footnote) by
>>> default.  I've never seen that done in published material.
>> I *think* it's an oversight, rather than a design decision. I agree
>> it's a rather jarring effect.
> I'm not sure. Would you put a float before the last line of the text?
> Probably not, floats are objects on their own and shouldn't -- if
> possible -- disturb the text flow. So why should it go before e.g. a
> one-line footnote and separate it from the text? The footnote would look
> as if stranded. I would probably try to avoid this question and move the
> float to the top of a page.  ;-)
> -- 
> Ulrike Fischer
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