[XeTeX] Typesetting a Bible

Dr J.D. Billett jdb43 at cam.ac.uk
Thu Jul 9 10:41:04 CEST 2009

Hi, Thomas.  Some inexpert thoughts on your questions below.

Thomas Thackery wrote:

> At risk of open criticism, I am just going to post my questions since
>   I'm not getting anywhere on a personal project.  I'm presuming that
>   (Xe)LaTeX is a good tool for this.
>   I want to typeset single column Bible text with numbered  
> footnotes in
>   two columns.  I would first like to try this with Latin characters
>   (e.g. in German or English) before attempting something more  
> complex.
>   To save time, quite frankly, here is an example of the kind of  
> layout
>   I am after:
>   http://www.hendrickson.com/pdf/chapters/9781598562859-ch01.pdf
>   Main Text
>   Chapter numbering: I've looked at Dirk-Jan Dekker's (http:// 
> www.djdekker.net/ledmac/
>   ) site for help on versification, but I don't know how I would  
> produce
>   the chapter numbers as in the example above.
>   Verse numbering: I can get versification, but am unsure if Dirk-Jan
>   Dekker's method is the best for the job.   On this note, I tried
>   inserting ~ for a non-breaking space after a verse number and the  
> text
>   beginning, but still get linebreaks after the verse number.
>   Chapter & verse ranges in a header (I'll use fancyhdr I presume  
> though
>   this will tricky with chapt & verse I would imagine)

It occurs to me that since the chapter and verse numbers are fixed in  
the biblical text (i.e. you don't want to have them automatically  
generated by a counter), there might be some merit in defining your  
own simple macro that just makes them look how you want them to look  
and then keying them in manually.  Your definitions might also  
include "\setcounter" elements so that the references could be called  
in your header.  You might be able to do something comparable to the  
"index" style headers described in the manual for Peter Wilson's  
"memoir" class under "Special headers" (pp. 187-8 in the 6th edition,  
2004, but there's probably a more recent edition), where the first  
and last entries on each page are set as the \leftmark and \rightmark  
in the headers.

>   Footnotes
>   I've been manipulating ledmac, and can I can get critical notes
>   \edtext{}\Afootnotes{} to appear in columns, but what I'd really  
> like
>   is to have the regular footnotes in two columns. In the example  
> above,
>   the footnote numbering begins with 1 at a page break.  Section 22.6
>   shows how to define for critical notes, but I don't see how to  
> define
>   for regular \footnote that would appear in two columns.

I would suggest that you use the memoir class to typeset the whole  
thing in XeLaTeX.  Memoir includes a \twocolumnfootnotes declaration  
that will do exactly what you want (this is described on p. 177 of  
the memoir manual, 6th edition).  Do you actually need to do any of  
the features specific to ledmac, like footnotes citing lemmata keyed  
to line numbers?  The sample page you referred us to didn't seem to  
have any critical apparatus as such, just footnotes.  If you're  
wanting your footnotes to be keyed to chapter and verse references,  
that's a rather more complicated business...

>   If anyone has examples of something close to this I would love to  
> see
>   it.
>   Thomas
>   PS I do have a very klugey .tex file (attached) that reflects  
> some of
>   what I'm trying out.

Good luck!


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