[texhax] using larger units to determine breaks?

William Adams will.adams at frycomm.com
Wed May 6 14:53:40 CEST 2009

On May 6, 2009, at 8:06 AM, Morten Høgholm wrote:

> There is of course Michael Plass' thesis on the matter "Optimal
> pagination techniques for automatic typesetting systems"

Gotta love the beginning of the last sentence of the abstract, ``For  
certain simple badness functions, the pagination problem is NP- 

And for complex badness functions? What's more complex than  
Nondetermininstic polynomial time?

> and also
> Stefan Wohlfeil's "On the pagination of complex documents".

Available as a .pdf!


Ironic though that there's what I'd consider a bad page break on pg. 7  
(the numbered list at the top of pg. 8 has lost its introductory  
paragraph which is at the bottom of the preceding page).

> The latter
> came with a program - XFORMATTER I believe - to make the pagination
> choices.

I didn't see a place to get this program from.

For those who're curious, this is a post on this subject I made to  
comp.text.tex and later re-posted to TYPO-L:

Subject: page breaking techniques (was Re: License of TeX?)
Date: 23 Aug 2003 03:15:12 GMT

My take on this is that page breaks have to take into account an entire
chapter---if one is doing a book which opens on any page, well, I've on
occasion gone back and re-run a previous chapter to change the opener
of a chapter to tweak a figure placement early on, so ideally for such
books, one wants to consider the entire text.

Here's a description of the technique I'm using at work on my current

   - style the entire chapter, setting the macros appropriately for
anything which doesn't match w/ what the author did. Fix overly wide,
or poorly hyphenated paragraphs at need.

   - flip backwards to the beginning, noting if anything is awkward - if
not, you're done (I think this has happened once for a previous project)

   - make notes on awkward pages and good pages / spreads, esp. noting
bad figure placement

   - from the beginning, adjust to get nice spreads w/ good figure
placement by strategically running spreads long / short (but only
adjusting one increment at a time, so a short spread doesn't back
a long or vice-versa), adjusting paragraph length w/ \looseness,
figure / table placement, creating figure pages at need,
space above heads and around tables and figures &c.

   - if one runs into an intractable problem, back up and try a  
set of long / short and other tweaks---possibly try running the entire
chapter long / short.

   - flip through making sure that no hyphenated words appear at the end
of a recto.

   - as a last resort, adjust leading on pages which can't be made to
come out any other way.


William Adams
senior graphic designer
Fry Communications
Sphinx of black quartz, judge my vow.

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