[OS X TeX] square cells and more

Arno Kruse arnokruse at macnews.de
Thu Dec 23 14:03:18 EST 2004

Am 23.12.2004 um 18:57 schrieb Will Robertson:

> On 24 Dec 2004, at 3:10 AM, Arno Kruse wrote:
>> Es irrt der Mensch so lang er strebt. (Goethe, Faust 1)
> Hmmm. My babelfish translation says "It errs humans so long it 
> strives", which I assume makes more sense in German :)

"Every human being is wrong as long as it seeks", an allusion to Faust 
who is doomed to failure like all who seek the truth.

> My reading of Hermann Hesse has made me want to read Goethe, but so 
> far I haven't had the chance. I hope the translation into english does 
> him justice.

Maybe; you can interpret literature in different ways. My proposal is 
not a word-by-word one, but should hit the meaning.

>> Please allow me some remarks anyhow:
>> 1. Square cells are in my opinion (maybe I am completely wrong) a 
>> sort of elementar modules. I wonder why it is complicated that way to 
>> produce them.
> I think this is just a matter of philosophy. Generally, it is simply 
> sufficient to specify the text you'd like in a table and let LaTeX lay 
> out everything as it sees fit. I don't consider my solution optimal 
> since the text doesn't look (to me) perfectly vertically centred for 
> all font sizes (I admit I only looked for Computer Modern, assuming my 
> solution would work approximately for every font).

With fourier it works excellently.

> I think that looking at a large sample of typeset tabular material 
> that a small minority actually requires square cells; the difficulty 
> in LaTeX is that the vertical space has been specified in the tabular 
> environment and is transparent to the user.

I do not understand; or do you mean "intransparent"?

>> 2. Other users may have different solutions to produce square cells; 
>> I am interested to learn how they have solved the difficulties, you 
>> may write me off list, if you like.
> I would also be interested, but I am not optimistic about receiving 
> replies; the Mac OS X TeX list is fairly small in the scheme of things 
> although there are many smart and clever people here.

O yes, and the concentration of knowledge is impressing.

>> 3. Problems of this manner are not specific Mac-problems, and so I 
>> first tried to find a solution in comp.text.tex. Do you think anyhow 
>> that it is useful and adequate to discuss them in this list?
> I think it is better to ask first on comp.text.tex, and then later in 
> more specific lists such as this one if no satisfactory answer is 
> given. Having said that, I didn't think too much about Arno's problem 
> until he emailed me privately :)
>> 4.  If the answer is yes: There are certainly more "little problems" 
>> like mine and a lot of interesting and helpful solutions - why not 
>> announce your questions and answers here?
> Certainly, a simple LaTeX document like the one I posted does no one 
> any harm and helps people searching for solutions to similar problems 
> in the the future if their problem is sufficiently similar.

I am anxious to hear whether other readers do think so too.
>> 5. Will, you have written
>> \settoheight\fontheight{(}.
>> I have no idea why you have chosen just this brace.
> Not sure, either :)
> I just wanted a height that would always be about that which would be 
> appropriate to centre the text around -- any uppercase letter would 
> probably also work. You could try adjusting this character (maybe to 
> an uppercase character instead) to see if it makes any difference -- 
> but I don't think it would *too* much, although a brace extends lower 
> than the baseline as opposed to most uppercase letters.
> Glad to be of service; happy holidays, if you have them now!

Yes, fortunately!


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