Frequently Asked Question List for TeX


Footnotes in tables

The standard LaTeX \footnote command doesn’t work in tables; the tabular environment (and its “relations”) traps footnotes, and they can’t escape to the bottom of the page. As a result, you get footnote marks in the table, and nothing else.

This accords with common typographic advice: footnotes and tables are reckoned not to mix.

The solution, if you accept the advice, is to use “table notes”. The package threeparttable provides table notes, and threeparttablex additionally supports them in longtables. Threeparttable works happily in ordinary text, or within a table float.

The ctable package extends the model of threeparttable, and also uses the ideas of the booktabs package. The \ctable command does the complete job of setting the table, placing the caption, and defining the notes. The “table” may consist of diagrams, and a parameter in \ctables optional argument makes the float that is created a “figure” rather than a “table”.

If you really want “real” footnotes in tables, despite the expert advice, you can:

All the techniques listed will work, to some extent, whether in a float or in ordinary text. The author of this FAQ answer doesn’t actually recommend any of them, believing that table notes are the way to go…

FAQ ID: Q-footintab
Tags: footnotes