Footnotes - How to use a character other than a number?

Hey everyone. I want to create footnotes that use an asterisk to denote the presence of a footnote. I absolutely do not want to use the default number system, as I’m already using superscript numbers for citations, and I also just plain don’t like numbers for footnotes anyway. I don’t want numbers appearing in either the text as superscript or in the footnote.

How do I do this?

EDIT: Ok, so I figured out how to do this, but I don’t like the formatting. The asterisk is squished and odd looking. Is there any way to control the formatting of the footnote character, independent of other formatting qualities?

If you don’t like the footnote numbers in the text, modify the Footnote Anchor character style. If you don’t like them in the footnote area, modify the Footnote Characters character style.

1 Like

Ok, how do I find these styles? I have no idea how to do anything in LibreOffice except standard text editing, this is all completely new to me.

EDIT: And of course I found the styles almost immediately after posting this, but I still don’t see how I can use the styles to change the footnote character to default to an asterisk instead of a number.

What exactly did you do? Did you go to this window (Tools → Footnotes and Endnotes…) and changed the numbering?

If so, it should look something like this:

Could you please explain? Or does @anon87010807 s answer about styles solve your issue?

1 Like

Then you should definitely read the Writer Guide, as boring as it could be. Writer is intended to be driven by styles and this is considered “non intuitive” by newbies though it becomes second-nature when you understand the power of the concept.

If you want the note anchor to be an asterisk, no matter how many notes you have in a page, there is no way to define this default. @TheSmallest shows how to set the anchor to a bullet sequence. But if you insist for a constant asterisk, create your note with Insert>Footnote & Endnote>Footnote or Endnote where you can manually choose the anchor character. But this must done manually for every note (no possible automation).

1 Like

It will help a lot if you tell us what you do like, so that we don’t offer solutions that you aren’t interested in.

Ok. That sucks monumentally, but ok. Appears I have no choice but to do this manually with every footnote. Wild. What an abominably bad design choice.

The asterisk in the text is squished horizontally, so its height is greater than its width.

I like asterisks and only asterisks as footnote markers, and I like for them to not be deformed in the text. Apparently LibreOffice can’t handle this. :confused:

Liberation Serif font has a slightly squished asterisk. Change the font in the paragraph style, maybe Liberation Sans is more to your liking. Use the Special Characters dialogue to choose a font based exclusively on the asterisk, why not?

How many footnotes per page are you expecting? In the dialogue you can reset each page (Start at Per page). If you have only one then you can have an asterisk on every page using the Numbering setting shown in the screenshot. Otherwise it is not arduous to click Manual and press the asterisk key per insertion.

1 Like

Not a bad design choice at all. Notes receive an individual id so that they can be distinguished from each other. Therefore when you choose a “bullet id”, you get an asterisk for the first note, a dagger for the second, … With bullet id, it is better to reset the sequence on every page as suggested by @EarnestAl otherwise the anchor will quickly look weird with repeated bullets (the sequence only has 4 built-in bullets).

What I don’t understand is your obsession with single-asterisk anchor character. How can a reader refer to the proper note when you have several in a page? Your design is right only if you have few notes and never more than one in a page. In this case, bullet numbering is what you need (as the asterisk is the first id in the sequence). What is left is the aesthetics of the asterisk. This can be solved by setting an adequate font face in character styles Footnote Anchor and Footnote Characters.

Don’t be mislead by the name of the latter style. It will not affect the text of the note which is controlled by paragraph style Footnote.

1 Like