The curse of footnotes and Appendices

This note is on the off-chance that anyone is interested in the technicalities of this WordPress site and the agonies that I’m going through setting this up. It’s just geeky talk.

I’m working from a Word document of the whole of the book set up to be a page size of 6″ x 9″. I think I have mentioned this before. This is a format I set up from Kath’s original of separate files for each chapter. The text is stuffed with footnotes and, as you will have noticed if you have looked at any of the chapters, there are a lot of appendices too.

Firstly in relation to the appendices, I wanted to have the URL for the sections, chapters and appendices as simple as I could. So you may notice for example the permalink for chapter 1 is http://manchester1984.uk/chapters/section-1/chapter-1/. Perhaps that doesn’t look very simple and maybe with hindsight I could have done without the chapters layer. But I wanted the pages to have a parent child relationship that makes sense for navigating around the site that I can use for menus elsewhere.

I hit a stumble in relation to the Appendices as I felt having multiple references to, for example, Appendix 1 that are in different chapters could be confusing for the search function. If you were to search for Appendix 1 you would find all references to it, but all references would not be to the same appendix. So I decided to renumber them with the first number relating to the chapter and the second being a letter, eg Appendix 2B. That feels clean to me. So then an example permalink for an appendix is http://manchester1984.uk/chapters/section-1/chapter-2/appendix-2b/

That means that for each chapter I add, I have to manually go through and change the appendix references and also manually link to the relevant pages. So I need to create the appendix pages before I can do that.

Then there are all of the footnotes. I have a plugin (https://wordpress.org/plugins/easy-footnotes/) that I like for its simplicity and how it displays the footnotes, in that when looking on a computer if you put your cursor over the footnote link, a pop-up box with the footnote appears. That seems useful to me, but as there isn’t an equivalent of hovering your cursor on a tablet or a phone, that aspect is redundant for those two formats (and my priority for design is the tablet). The other thing is that there is a link to jump to the footnote text at the bottom of the page and then a link at the footnote to jump back to where it appears on the page. That is useful too. Also I like that the footnote reference number is a superscript rather than a number in square brackets.

So I used this plugin for chapters 1, 3, 4 and 5 and the foreword and then saw the error of my ways. It was time consuming because I had to manually cut and paste in the footnotes surrounding them with the shortcode that tells WordPress it is a footnote. I was prepared to do the manual labour, but then I realised that all of the printing options I was looking at didn’t include the footnotes.

The less labour intensive way to go about things is to simply copy from the master Word document into the page in the visual editor mode and WordPress cleverly automatically adds a formatting to the footnotes, albeit not as pretty as I would like. There are still links from the footnote reference number to jump to the relevant footnote and then from that to jump back to the place in the text. There just isn’t the nice pop up box on the desktop version.

At the moment I don’t have the inclination to go back and redo the pages that I have already done, but for consistency I will need to at some point, particularly if I am offering printing the chapter as an option.

Anyway, I am just sharing the ins and outs.

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