[XeTeX] \botmark and \firstmark not working for me ...

Ron Aaron ron at ronware.org
Sun Aug 1 09:28:41 CEST 2010

On Sunday 01 August 2010 10:16:27 Paul Isambert wrote:
> Indeed, the \mark won't end up on the main vertical list. In the latest
> TUGboat issue, Hans Hagen writes about this and proposes a nice
> solution... but with LuaTeX!

Hmm.  I really need XeTeX, since it knows how to typeset complex languages 
very well (and I really like the font-handling!).

> So to keep with XeTeX, I wonder if a two-run process wouldn't be simpler:
> use \write with an external file, which you \input on the next
> compilation.

That may work, I already started looking into it -- although my "write" seems 
to only output one line in the output file (yes, I'm reading the file if present 
and writing back the read tokens ...)

> But then a question: what is your \mark doing in \vbox if it is in the
> "body text", as said in your first message?


I lay-out the text in two columns.  In order to get proper layout I have been 
forced to do my own column code.  Essentially, the 'left' (LTR) text goes in 
one \vtop, the 'right' (RTL) text goes in another \vtop, and then I do 
something like:


to get the precise layout.  There is also occasional "\vsplit" going on, but 
that's a detail.

Maybe doing "unvbox" instead of "box" would be better?  I'll try that ...

Thanks for any brilliant (and even not-so-brilliant) ideas!

Best regards,

For privacy, my GPG key signature is: AD29415D

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