Old fashioned spacing in LaTeX

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Laurentius's picture
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Joined: 6 Feb 2009 - 5:09pm
Old fashioned spacing in LaTeX
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(NOT "french spacing" as with \frenchspacing.)

There are two things I should very much like to know. The first is probably simpler, but the second would be better.

1. Is it possible to get english or french spacing around "!", ";", "?", and "!" without selecting french as the language after whose rules words are split at the ends of lines, i.e. without \selectlanguage{french} ?

2. Is it possible to do this but also increase the space after the last period (or similar sign) in a sentence, e.g. to 1 em?

Thanks in advance.

Steve Peter's picture
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Joined: 8 May 2004 - 11:00am
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Yes, it's possible, but it's rather advanced.

I would create a new language definition file for the babel package and copy the spacing rules for the characters you need from the frenchb.ldf file. Then you just load your new language file via babel: \usepackage[norwegian2,french]{babel}.

As for the post-punctuation spacing, that's usually handled by means of a percentage, rather than an absolute value. So, to get \frenchspacing after a period without specifying \frenchspacing, do

\sfcode`\\.1000

This sets the spacing factor after a period to be 1. (For standard American typesetting, it's set to 3, i.e., \sfcode`\\.3000.)

If you want additional help for any of this, feel free to contact me via email, and I would be glad to help.

Laurentius's picture
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Joined: 6 Feb 2009 - 5:09pm
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Thank you for your help. Copying the code that seemed relevant in frenchb.ldf did not work, however, however, I was able to use ecclesiastic.sty, changing all occurrences of "latin" to "danish", as well as adding the following, to allow normal "(?)" and "(!)":

\useshorthands{(}
\defineshorthand{(?}{\string(?}
\useshorthands{(}
\defineshorthand{(!}{\string(!}

As regards the space between sentences, I do not want to merely to be a glue factor (or whatever), but an extra space, that is always visible and wonderfully archaïc. Know how?

NB! When I say french spacing, I mean the opposite of \frenchspacing. I mean extra space before ?, !, :, and ;, as well as between sentences. Not the boring stuff that \frenchspacing does. Possibly, this is more correctly referred to as english spacing.

Nick Shinn's picture
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Joined: 8 Jul 2003 - 11:00am
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Karsten Luecke has provided this feature -- he calls it "typographic spacing" IIRC -- in some of his fonts, as a Stylistic Set.

Steve Peter's picture
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Joined: 8 May 2004 - 11:00am
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As regards the space between sentences, I do not want to merely to be a glue factor (or whatever), but an extra space, that is always visible and wonderfully archaïc. Know how?

Very easy: \\xspaceskip=1em.

Laurentius's picture
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Joined: 6 Feb 2009 - 5:09pm
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Thank you. This works fine, until I change the language with \selectlanguage. The value of \xspacefactor does not change, but for some reason, it will have no effect throughout the rest of the document. Any idea what might remedy this?

Steve Peter's picture
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Joined: 8 May 2004 - 11:00am
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If you always want that xspacefactor, put it in the ldf file for that language.

Laurentius's picture
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Yeah, I found out what the trouble was. Seems \selectlanguage{german} involves \frenchspacing, so I defined a \german that turns that off again.

Laurentius's picture
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Joined: 6 Feb 2009 - 5:09pm
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Would it be possible to prevent the colon from having the effect of dividing periods ("sentences")? (What a crazy idea, that they should.)

Steve Peter's picture
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Joined: 8 May 2004 - 11:00am
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I don't understand what it is you're asking.

Laurentius's picture
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Joined: 6 Feb 2009 - 5:09pm
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To prevent the extra space of \xspaceskip after colons.

Steve Peter's picture
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Joined: 8 May 2004 - 11:00am
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They shouldn't have extra space. There must be something screwy in your ldf file.