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Footnotes on h2g2

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It may be that everybody does this anyway, and nobody needs to be told. For those who don't know it, though, it could save some hassle.

So, here it is. The guidelines for sub-editing on h2g2 warn that one drawback with having lots of footnotes is that the Researcher is constantly scrolling down to read them and having to go back up afterwards. There is also an Edited Guide Entry entitled Footnotes, basically confirming the same thing.

However - the point about 'constantly scrolling up and down' is not necessarily true. There are at least two ways to read h2g2 footnotes without recourse to scroll bars or arrow keys.

Sorry to interrupt the flow like this, but this is an experiment that has been added as an after-thought to see whether you can put footnotes inside footnotes1. If it had been down at the bottom, you'd be able to see the footnotes anyway3. It is also interesting to see whether you could put smileys in footnotes4.

Unfortunately, method (1) only works with more advanced browsers.

  1. The enlightened Researcher can simply point the mouse arrow over the number and wait for a moment to make the text box appear with the footnote. This is quick and easy6, as you should have just discovered. The box disappears again after about five seconds7 but you can bring it back again quite easily8, as you just nudge the arrow to one side and back onto the figure again. If the footnote is much longer than this third example, it probably really ought to be incorporated into the body text anyway.

    Some Researchers may not be aware of the trick in section 1 and may not think to pause with the mouse over the footnote9. The textbox does appear after a very short time. For those who do not stumble upon this handy system by chance or read this article, there is an alternative...

  2. The alternative is almost as convenient and certainly doesn't involve annoying scrollbar problems. The Researcher can simply click on the footnote number in the body text to make the screen automatically and instantaneously scroll down to the footnotes section. A simple click on the appropriate figure next to the footnote text (after taking the time to read the contents, of course, perhaps even twice!) takes them back to the appropriate line in the body text.

So, to sum up, Researchers have two simple ways to peruse footnotes at their leisure without any awkward scrollbar use or arrow key pushing.

1You'll have to use method (2) to find out, though!22Yep! Obviously, you can't use method (1) to look at them as it causes an apparent 'gap' in the numbering in the body text3And what fun would that be?4You can see the results, but only with method (2)! smiley - cool Eh?55This use of a smiley in an Edited Guide Entry is the exception to the rule - the Eds. smiley - biggrin6Unless you have one of those annoying mice which have got a bit sticky and are really difficult to get to the exact spot on the screen you need.7Which leaves most Researchers long enough to read the moderately long footnote such as the one in the previous sentence, and maybe even this one.8Unless you still have one of those annoying mice which have got a bit sticky and are really difficult to get to the exact spot on the screen you need. You really should get that sorted, you know!9Naturally enough.

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