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When copying text with numbered footnote markers from one org-mode file to another, I have been manually copying and pasting the corresponding footnotes (sometimes renumbering them in the process). This is difficult and error-prone. Is there a way to have Org automatically copy and renumber the associated footnotes along with the main body text?

It seems like org-mode used to support inline footnotes (like LaTeX) which would be easier to copy and paste than numbered footnotes -- see the discussion archived at https://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/emacs-orgmode/2009-01/msg00004.html . But I don't think that feature exists in the current version.

If nothing like this exists, I might be motivated to add it myself, but I wanted to check first whether there is an easier way.

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The manual says that there are inline footnotes,as well as named footnotes, in addition to numbered footnotes:

Org mode extends the number-based syntax to named footnotes and optional inline definition. Here are the valid references:

‘[fn:name]’ A named footnote reference, where ‘name’ is a unique label word, or, for simplicity of automatic creation, a number.

‘[fn::This is the inline definition of this footnote]’ A LaTeX-like anonymous footnote where the definition is given directly at the reference point.

‘[fn:name:a definition]’ An inline definition of a footnote, which also specifies a name for the note. Since Org allows multiple references to the same note, you can then use ‘[fn:name]’ to create additional references.

  • Duh! I don't know how I missed this, but obviously I did. I still don't really want to use inline footnotes when editing, but it seems like I could get the behavior I want by advising the kill & yank commands to transform numbered footnotes into inline footnotes when copying/killing, then run org-footnote-normalize upon pasting/yanking. – Jon O. Mar 16 '18 at 19:05

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