LaTeX hacking

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It's conference submission time ( EVT/WOTE 2009) and along with conference submission time comes its friend, fighting with LaTeX time. The big problems I usually have are avoiding bad breaks and convincing LaTeX's broken float algorithm to put my figures (I like figures) where I want them instead of three pages later. Anyway, I recently ran into a problem (on a friends paper, not my own) with a long author list. What we wanted was to have an author list with a separate affiliation list and then a footnoted contact address, like so (click to see a PDF):

LaTeX's built-in \author mode is pretty lame, but Authblk lets you use "author block" mode, with separate author names and affiliations and footnote-style superscripted numbers to connect the two. The code you want is:

\author[1,2]{Charles Kinbote}
\author[1]{John Shade}
\author[1]{Charles Xavier Vseslav}
\author[3]{Humbert Humbert}
\author[4]{Clare Quilty}


\affil[1]{Kingdom of Zembla}
\affil[2]{Wordsmith College}
\affil[3]{Independent}
\affil[4]{Beardsley Women's College}

But this is only a partial solution because it doesn't give you the footnote with the author's address. If you're willing to have the author's address attached to the affiliation block, you can just do a separate affiliation that contains the email address of the author:

\author[1,2,*]{Charles Kinbote}
\author[1]{John Shade}
\author[1]{Charles Xavier Vseslav}
\author[3]{Humbert Humbert}
\author[4]{Clare Quilty}


\affil[1]{Kingdom of Zembla}
\affil[2]{Wordsmith College}
\affil[3]{Independent}
\affil[4]{Beardsley Women's College}
\affil[*]{To whom correspondence should be addressed. Email: \url{kinbote@example.com}}

This does work, but it looks pretty terrible. You can attach a footnote to the author's name as a footnote, but this isn't quite what you want either, for two reasons. First, the asterisk shows up after the name, before the superscripted affiliation numbers, when you really want it afterwards. Second, it's on the baseline of the affiliation numbers, when you really want it aligned with the top of the numbers.

What you need is a combination strategy: you use the fake affiliation with an asterisk, but don't provide a \affil block. This just creates a bare asterisk superscript, but no footnote. To create the footnote, you need to use \footnotetext. Unfortunately, if you just use \footnotetext, you end up with a numeric marker attached to the footnote text at the bottom of the page. What you want is an asterisk. To get this to work, you need to override the footnote style with \renewcommand{\thefootnote}{\fnsymbol{footnote}}, and then reset it so that you get numeric footnotes elsewhere:

\let\oldthefootnote\thefootnote
\renewcommand{\thefootnote}{\fnsymbol{footnote}}
\footnotetext[1]{To whom correspondence should be addressed. Email: \url{kinbote@example.com}}
\let\thefootnote\oldthefootnote

Putting it all together:


\author[1,2,*]{Charles Kinbote}
\author[1]{John Shade}
\author[1]{Charles Xavier Vseslav}
\author[3]{Humbert Humbert}
\author[4]{Clare Quilty}


\affil[1]{Kingdom of Zembla}
\affil[2]{Wordsmith College}
\affil[3]{Independent}
\affil[4]{Beardsley Women's College}

\pagestyle{empty}

\begin{document}
\maketitle
\thispagestyle{empty}

\let\oldthefootnote\thefootnote
\renewcommand{\thefootnote}{\fnsymbol{footnote}}
\footnotetext[1]{To whom correspondence should be addressed. Email: \url{kinbote@example.com}}
\let\thefootnote\oldthefootnote

Have fun.

Acknowledgement: Body text from the Lorem Ipsum Generator.

4 Comments

Does the DSM list "TeX induced picayune disorder" yet?

brilliant. one suggestion: think about what you might search for using Google (etc.) if you wanted to find an answer to this question quickly... then insert those terms somewhere (like the title, maybe?) so that this post doesn't look like the end-all guide to latex hacking to a search engine and is easier for people to find when they need it. I'd suggest adding this to your title or the body of your post "adding a contact email to AuthBlk" or something.

Would it be unconscionably rude to point out that all of this is trivial in decent WYSIWYG editors such as MS Word?

No, it's not rude. In fact the point of this post was sort of that you had to
fight with LaTeX because it has all sorts of opinions about how stuff
should look. The problem is that documents prepared with Word look
terrible by comparison in practically every respect.

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