Sunday, December 21, 2008

Footnote mode

Those familiar with LaTeX will understand footnotes and how they are generated when the LaTeX document is compiled.  Emacs too, comes with a footnote package that sort of imitates the LaTeX style.  This can be used in any text based document whether it is emails or plain articles.

Footnotes mode is bundled with Emacs, so it's invoked by M-x footnote-mode.  It is a minor mode which is really handy especially when you don't want your text to be marred by long urls, lengthy explanations which disrupt the flow of thought.  I find it useful by simply adding the dummy footnotes for key words and the like and then writing the explanation at the bottom as I complete the article.

A screen shot of how it works will  

While this adds some nice professional look to your text based email, there are some minor issues to be borne in mind.  The numbering is not preserved between sessions i.e. when the file is re-opened, numbering will start again from 1.  This might not be ideal though it is easy to work around with, by increasing the sequence till it matches the current valid running number.

Or as the wiki pages go,there is a patch to fix that.  But that is not yet part of the mainline Emacs 23, so it's left to you to remember to upgrade whenever Emacs is upgraded.