[OS X TeX] memoir class, Table questions, position of floats, line numbering

Maarten Sneep maarten.sneep at xs4all.nl
Fri Jun 11 10:37:37 CEST 2004

On 11 jun 2004, at 4:09, Denis Chabot wrote:

> One first question that comes to my mind is: why does the sample
> document use the memoir class, which is not described on most LaTeX
> guides? I found a 300 p document on memoir, but before digging into it
> (it is not light reading...), I'd like to know if there are
> significant advantages over the article class which would make this a
> good time investment.

Memoir (as the introduction in that 300 page document should tell you
;-) was started to include the answers to most FAQ's on comp.text.tex
in one documentclass. The core text (your contents) will be the same,
no matter what class you use (you could switch later one, if you're
careful). Customizing the layout will be a lot easier with memoir than
with most other classes.

> I had to trim the column headings quite a bit to get a table to fit
> within the width of the text. Maybe I could have reduced the font size
> (maybe this will be ugly, but I'd like to try). Is there a way to
> reduce font size for a whole table? Maybe the same technique would
> allow me to make headings of a table bold, but the rest plain, when
> journals want this style?

the first element of the columns specifier in a tabular* environement
might help:

\begin{tabular*}{\textwidth}{@{\extracolsep{\fill}}lllll}
....
\end{tabular}

This will spread the table over the available text-width and make the
spacing between the columns all equal (and possibly rather narrow).
There is also a length \tabcolsep that is *half* the width between the
columns. Depending on how much too wide your table is, playing with
this might solve the problem: \addtolength{\tabcolsep}{-3pt} or using
the \extracolsep trick above with \setlength{\tabcolsep}{0pt}.

When playing with headers, by all means create a new macro for this (or
for any specific symbol or function in your text). This makes it a lot
easier to replace those later on. If the journal accepts LaTeX, they
sometimes aren't too fond of these private macros. In that case, get a
text-editor that can handle regular expressions (SubEthaEdit, iTeXMac,
BBEdit, Xcode, ...) and replace the macros by the actual code before
submission. Make sure you keep your version though.

A final "if all else fails" method: rotate the table over 90 degrees
(see the FAQ on how to do that).

> I found how to center headings that happened to be multicolumn, but
> how do you center a column heading when you want the remainder of the
> column to be right aligned?

Multicolumn over a single column: \multicolumn{1}{c}{$\mathrm{O-C}$} (I
use this to change the "type" of the column, in combination with the
dcolumn package (align figures on the decimal point).

> Anyway, my tables worked quite well for a first attempt, but I must
> say it is slower to make a table this way versus a graphical
> interface.

One gets used to it. Really. It depends on the complexity of the table
though, and the number of lines in it (I'm proud to say that I have
_no_ lines in my tables).

There are some tools to translate from a tab-separated file into a
LaTeX table. Some are there for use with Excel, and on text-based data,
awk is something I've grown to like, although that one really is for
the command-line aficionados. Both provide just a starting point for
further enhancement later on.

> I love not having to worry about where my figures end up (one of my
> main beef with Word). But many ended up alone on a page, when I
> thought there was enough space for a few lines of text on the same
> page. I have a very small sample size, remember, but it looks to me
> that text will be placed with my floats only if whole paragraphs can
> fit. Is there a way to have parts of paragraph accompany floats on a
> page, or if this a behavior that insures better looking document and I
> should not mess with it?

No, the default float placement isn't really optimal, also see the FAQ
Will pointed at.

Regards,

Maarten

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