Split Footnote Special Character
Alert InDesign user Tim Gouder e-mailed us about an obscure special character he had encountered in InDesign:
The blue triangle indicates a split footnote. Here’s a zoomed-out view so you can see the footnote text that’s being split:
Footnotes will split (that is, continue) to additional columns and frames if two conditions are met. First, the Allow Split Footnotes checkbox in the Type > Document Footnote Options dialog box (in the Layout tab) has to be enabled (it is by default). Second, a footnote of two or more lines can’t completely fit under the line of body text containing the footnote reference.
(This post isn’t really about footnotes, just that triangle thingie. Use our Search field to find our many other posts about using footnotes in InDesign.)
Technically, though, it’s not a “special character”—the kind that can be viewed/hidden by choosing Show/Hide Hidden Characters from the Type menu. It’s more of a frame property, like how the In and Out Ports on a text frame change to indicate if the frame is part of a thread or if there’s overset text.
To wit; if you choose Hide Hidden Characters, the non-printing triangle indicating a split footnote remains visible. You control the visibility of the triangle by changing the visibility of the frame itself, via View > Show/Hide Frame Edges.
A trivial distinction. I could see some users wondering what the heck that triangle was, which is the point of our Guide to Special Characters. Thanks, Tim!