This is what I was trying to achieve:
Body Text flowing as usual (illustrated by ---), with some sidebars (===),
and with footnotes gathered at the bottom of each page (shown with ...).
This apparently can't be done with LibreOffice Writer for a number of
reasons, so before describing how I achieved it, I'll go over the methods I
attempted using Writer itself.
A. Using a Frame for the sidebar: apparently because of the way the Open
Document format is specified, footnote references simply aren't permitted in
B. Using a table for the sidebar: while a footnote reference can be placed
in a table, text cannot be wrapped around a table unless the table is placed
in a frame - leading to the same restriction described in A. If the table is
set up in two columns, placing normal text in the left column with the
sidebar text in the right column this sort of works, it is only effective if
the text lengths are exactly equal, which doesn't happen very often.
Furthermore, the whole thing is thrown out of whack if either text needs to
C. Using Columns in a manner similar to B.: This is a little more flexible
(if tedious) than using tables, but the main drawback is that any footnotes
that are defined will be placed at the bottom of the column in which they
are referenced rather than at the bottom of the page itself.
So I cheated. In the hope that this might help someone else, here's how I
did it. If there is a better way, I would love to hear it.
I began by inserting footnote 2 at an appropriate place in the normal body
text where it wouldn't affect the flow of the text. This is illustrated
----- 2 ===
Once that was done, I altered the character formatting for the reference so
that it was all white (or whatever it takes to make it invisible). Then go
to the desired position in the sidebar text and add the footnote number as
regular text where it is needed and format it using the "Footnote
Characters" character style. Since it can't be assumed that the document
will never change, however, it is even better to insert a cross reference to
the real footnote rather than simply typing the number. This is done with
the menu sequence "Insert | Cross Reference ... | Cross-References |
Footnotes." Locate the new hidden reference you just added and under "Insert
Reference to" select "Reference."
I've done this in several places and it seems to work just fine. The added
benefit is that it will really confuse anyone who later attempts to figure
out what you did :)
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