• Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint
Share this Page URL
Help

Chapter 3. Basic Formatting Tools

Chapter 3. Basic Formatting Tools

The way information is presented visually can influence, to a large extent, the message as it is understood by the reader. Therefore, it is important that you use the best possible tools available to convey the precise meaning of your words. It must, however, be emphasized that visual presentation forms should aid the reader in understanding the text, and should not distract his or her attention. For this reason, visual consistency and uniform conventions for the visual clues are a must, and the way given structural elements are highlighted should be the same throughout a document. This constraint is most easily implemented by defining a specific command or environment for each document element that has to be treated specially and by grouping these commands and environments in a package file or in the document preamble. By using exclusively these commands, you can be sure of a consistent presentation form.

This chapter explains various ways for highlighting parts of a document. The first part looks at how short text fragments or paragraphs can be made to stand out and describes tools to manipulate such elements.

The second part deals with the different kind of “notes”, such as footnotes, marginal notes, and endnotes, and explains how they can be customized to conform to different styles, if necessary.

Typesetting lists is the subject of the third part. First, the various parameters and commands controlling the standard LaTeX lists, enumerate, itemize, and description, are discussed. Then, the extensions provided by the paralist package and the concept of “headed lists” exemplified by the amsthm package are presented. These will probably satisfy the structure and layout requirements of most readers. If not, then the remainder of this part introduces the generic list environment and explains how to build custom layouts by varying the values of the parameters controlling it.

The fourth part explains how to simulate “verbatim” text. In particular, we have a detailed look at the powerful packages fancyvrb and listings.

The final part presents packages that deal with line numbering, handling of columns, such as parallel text in two columns, or solving the problem of producing multiple columns.

  • Creative Edge
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint