Bug 65515 - French-style footnotes
Summary: French-style footnotes
Status: NEW
Alias: None
Product: LibreOffice
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Localization (show other bugs)
(earliest affected) release
Hardware: x86-64 (AMD64) Linux (All)
: medium normal
Assignee: Not Assigned
Depends on:
Blocks: Footnote-Endnote
  Show dependency treegraph
Reported: 2013-06-07 17:08 UTC by Alessandro Ceschini
Modified: 2020-08-31 03:46 UTC (History)
5 users (show)

See Also:
Crash report or crash signature:

Take a look at the footnote (475.49 KB, image/png)
2013-06-07 17:08 UTC, Alessandro Ceschini
French-style footnote numbering (294.57 KB, image/png)
2013-06-09 19:22 UTC, Alessandro Ceschini
Workaround example (11.31 KB, application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.text)
2013-06-10 14:39 UTC, László Németh

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Description Alessandro Ceschini 2013-06-07 17:08:00 UTC
Created attachment 80481 [details]
Take a look at the footnote

Hello everybody,

French footnotes have a peculiar style which you can see in the attached image. The first line is indented, the number is followed by a point and then space.

See the attached image.
Comment 1 Joel Madero 2013-06-09 18:10:26 UTC
Please attach the actual file (or a snippet from it) so that we can verify the issue on an independent system :)

Marking as NEEDINFO - once you attach the file (or a test sample file that we can see the problem) mark as UNCONFIRMED and we will confirm it.

Comment 2 Alessandro Ceschini 2013-06-09 18:51:23 UTC
You mean you want a doc/odt file? LO doesn't do French-style footnotes, I don't know about Word, most that I can do is providing you with a pdf typeset with LaTex. Would that be good for you anyway?
Comment 3 Joel Madero 2013-06-09 19:10:38 UTC
ah my mistake Alessandro! I think this is an enhancement request, thought it was a bug :)

Marking as UNCONFIRMED - will investigate :) Sorry for the noise
Comment 4 Joel Madero 2013-06-09 19:11:58 UTC
@JBF - thoughts about this one? Should footnotes just be defaulted to this if French locale is chosen? Seems like a simple style would do the trick
Comment 5 Alessandro Ceschini 2013-06-09 19:22:30 UTC
Created attachment 80580 [details]
French-style footnote numbering

Indeed, it's a bug because the software isn't properly localised. As for the styles, it's indeed possible to indent the first line, and have the number followed by a space, but there's a problem with the position of the said number.

Please, open the newly uploaded image, take a look at the footnotes: you see the position of 9 and 10, that’s different than the LO’s one. In LO the 9 would be on the same line as 1 while French typography wants it to sit on the 0. Do you get my point? I hope so!
Comment 6 László Németh 2013-06-10 14:37:45 UTC
I have found a workaround, good enough also for templates, see the attached document. Unfortunately, its creation is very tricky, also it is sensitive for the modifications of footnote settings, so we need a simpler solution to support French typesetting.

Short description:

1. Paragraph style "Footnote" has got zero indentation (Before text, First line), but two special tabulator positions (see Tabs page of the paragraph style settings of Footnote), a decimal tab stop for the right indentation and a left tab stop for the beginning of the remaining text.

2. Put a tabulator (tricky part, see below), and a dot + tabulator into the Before and After input boxes in Tools»Footnotes/Endnotes... window. 

Unfortunately, normal input methods (clipboard or local menu of the input box » Special character) of LibreOffice don't allow tabulator character (or convert to space), only the direct methods work, eg. Ctrl-Shift-u + hexadecimal code under Linux (pressing Ctrl-Shift-u, 9, and space), see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unicode_input#Hexadecimal_code_input. 

Warning: after modifications of Tools»Footnote/Endnotes... it has to fix the silently converted tabs (spaces) in Before and After input boxes.

Note: this method works for footnote numbering without dots, using „invisible” characters (eg. U+200B, zero width space) in Tools»Footnote and in the input box “Character” of Tabs page, too.
Comment 7 László Németh 2013-06-10 14:39:28 UTC
Created attachment 80627 [details]
Workaround example
Comment 8 Alessandro Ceschini 2013-06-10 21:18:24 UTC
(In reply to comment #7)
> Created attachment 80627 [details]
> Workaround example

Hello Mr. Németh,

Thanks for your help but it looks so convoluted to me... and what's more is that I can still use LaTeX, which has an excellent support for French Typography through babel. The examples I posted were indeed typeset with LaTeX. But it shall be useful to those who stick to WYSIWYG.

Thanks anyway,
Comment 9 Owen Genat (retired) 2013-06-11 01:07:50 UTC
László, thank you for commenting and providing a workaround. I initially tried to come up with a few solutions to this matter in the related forum thread: 


I was trying to do exactly what you have somehow managed in your comment #7 example. Unfortunately though I found the usual CTRL+SHIFT+u+9 (tab) insertion into the Before and After fields under Tools > Footnotes/Endnotes... to be, as you say, "sensitive for the modifications of footnote settings." Sometimes they seem to work and other times they appear to be replaced with a space (U+0020). Usually I get either a tab before and space after or the reverse, but not a tab before and after. This is under GNU/Linux Crunchbang 11 running TDF/LO v4.0.3.3 (Build ID: 0eaa50a932c8f2199a615e1eb30f7ac74279539). 

I completely forgot about using a decimal tab (I was using right-aligned) but this (naturally) does not affect the inability to easily insert the tab. Thanks again for your interest and the tip about using invisible characters in the Decimal tab alignment field. Adding myself to the CC.
Comment 10 László Németh 2013-06-11 15:02:47 UTC
(In reply to comment #8)
Dear Mr. Ceschini, 

Thanks for your feedback. In fact, this is a problem for English, too:

https://issues.apache.org/ooo/show_bug.cgi?id=18326  Footnote number greater than 99 are missing extra space before text

You are right, LaTeX has got better support for these basic features for French (see also this bug about French typography: https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=65050#c5).

Also it would be fine to use these improvements in the default French, Hungarian, etc. text document templates.

WYSIWYG is not only a user friendly interface for the average users, but it is a better solution for visually complex things, eg. positioning pictures into the right places.
Comment 11 László Németh 2013-06-11 15:15:43 UTC
(In reply to comment #9)
Owen, thanks for the posts! Also I have realized, right aligned tab is enough instead of decimal tab. Pressing a simple OK without any modification will convert the Before and After tabs, so you have to add them in the same time in the dialog window. A (default) check box for French will be the optimal solution. Thanks, again! László
Comment 12 László Németh 2013-06-12 14:53:42 UTC
I have fixed the unstable and inaccessible tab settings by allowing "\t" (also used in regular expressions in LibreOffice Writer Search/Replace) notation for tab characters in Begin and After fields, and opening the Settings window will show "\t" in Begin/After fields instead of the removing the tab chars, see Bug 65666. So this could be an acceptable workaround until the implementation of a better solution.
Comment 13 QA Administrators 2015-04-19 03:20:45 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 14 Jean-Baptiste Faure 2015-04-25 14:24:10 UTC
It is easy to define a numbering style doing what is expected. The problem is that when you attach this numbering style to the paragraph style footnote, it is not applied. Perhaps is it due to the links between the footnote and its call in the text.

Best regards. JBF
Comment 15 QA Administrators 2016-09-20 09:33:10 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 16 QA Administrators 2020-08-31 03:46:06 UTC
Dear Alessandro Ceschini,

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