EDMAC is a program written as a set of plain TeX macros for formatting complex critical editions. You mark up your text and notes using the tags provided by EDMAC, and then TeX will create a beautiful book for you with the text line numbered, lemmata referred to by line-number, up to six layers of notes at the bottom of the page (variants, testimonia, etc.), as well as up to six sets of notes sent to appendices. It is also possible to control the layout of each layer of notes separately: single column, two- or three-column, paragraphed, etc.
Click on the following image to see a page which shows off several of the chief features that EDMAC has to offer:
EDMAC has been used since the early 1990s to typeset many critical editions of texts. Here is a PDF file listing some of these. In addition to editions created using EDMAC directly, there are several editions made with EDMAC but processed via CET (see below).
EDMAC works with plain TeX (not LaTeX). There is nothing to stop you doing your actual text edition with EDMAC, and the rest of the book with LaTeX, of course. And some hackers have even succeeded in getting EDMAC to work with LaTeX to a limited extent, although we don't intend to pursue this route actively.
EDMAC was written as a collaborative project by John Lavagnino and Dominik Wujastyk. It is copyrighted but free.
The EDMAC manual and program documentation has been published in book form as
John Lavagnino and Dominik Wujastyk, Critical Edition Typesetting: The EDMAC format for plain TeX, (San Francisco and Birmingham: TeX Users Group and UK TeX Users Group, 1996).
The book can be ordered from the UK TeX Users Group, and costs ten UK pounds.
EDMAC files are available for free download to your computer. The current version of EDMAC is 3.17.
Over the years, people have adapted EDMAC for specialist tasks, and added macros to supply extra features, or remedy shortcomings of the basic package. We are most grateful to the authors of these additions to EDMAC's functionality.
An example of the type of text that you can format with EDMAC and edstanza is available here as a TeX DVI file, or as a PostScript file.
Nora Gädeke and Herbert Breger have provided a set of macros called tabmac which can be freely downloaded here, and which provides for using tables within EDMAC formatted text, a combination which was previously impossible.Wednesday, December 10, 2003
Documentation and examples are also available as TeX DVI file, or as a PostScript file.
Idris Hamid, Colorado State University, talking at the TUG 2007 conference, San Diego, about doing critical editions using ConTeXt rather than EDMAC.
The documentation of EDNOTES and LEDMAC gives information that will help you to make a choice between them.
Of EDNOTES, Peter Wilson remarks,
Unlike LEDMAC, which is based on EDMAC, EDNOTES takes a different (internal) approach and provides a different set of features. For example it provides additional facilities for overlapping lemmas and for handling tables.Of LEDMAC, Uwe Lück and Christian Tapp have provided a discussion in TUGboat.
In 2005, both Ednotes and Ledmac are still evolving. Both packages are excellent, and if you are planning a critical edition you should read the documentation for each, and make a decision based on exactly what facilities you need.
Valuable information on LEDMAC in practice, with a FAQ, by Dr. Dirk-Jan Dekker (formerly at Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands) can be found at http://www.djdekker.net/ledmac/
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