[OS X TeX] memoir class, Table questions, position of floats, line numbering

Herb Schulz herbs at wideopenwest.com
Fri Jun 11 10:28:43 EDT 2004

On 6/10/04 9:09 PM, "Denis Chabot" <chabotd at globetrotter.net> wrote:

> Hi,
> I am working on my first document finally, using TeXShop and LaTeX.
> This is not going too badly, thanks to things I've been told before on
> this list, the sample document of  Will Robertson (thanks!), and some
> online guides I downloaded.
> One first question that comes to my mind is: why does the sample
> document use the memoir class, which is not described on most LaTeX
> guides? I found a 300 p document on memoir, but before digging into it
> (it is not light reading...), I'd like to know if there are significant
> advantages over the article class which would make this a good time
> investment.


The memoir class is very versatile and it can partially simulate other
classes with options. It is especially good for books. In any case, the
documentation has lots of great information about book and page design.

If you need to change the margins, etc., I'd go with the article class and
use the geometry package. It also has good documentation.

To change how section headings look try the titlesec package; great coverage
of that with lots of examples in ``The LaTeX Companion, 2nd Edition.''

For doing fancy page headers and footer I'd go with the fancyhdr package.

> I had to make a few tables. I noticed that if you choose the Table
> macros in TeXShop, you get the elements of a Table pasted into your
> document, and the first line is:
> \begin{table}[htdp]
> What does the d do? I only found the description for h, t, b and p, not
> d.

Hmmm... Sounds like a typo in the macro to me. You can fix that by editing
the macro in the built-in macro editor.

> To continue with Tables, is there a way to merge two cells vertically?

Nothing very simple that I know of. You can make a paragraph of the text in
a parbox and use \\ to separate the lines. Single lines could then be put in
boxes and use \raisebox

> I had to trim the column headings quite a bit to get a table to fit
> within the width of the text. Maybe I could have reduced the font size
> (maybe this will be ugly, but I'd like to try). Is there a way to
> reduce font size for a whole table? Maybe the same technique would
> allow me to make headings of a table bold, but the rest plain, when
> journals want this style?

To make headings bold put them inside \textbf{}. To reduce the font size for
the complete table you can do


since the table environment will localize the font size to things within the

> I found how to center headings that happened to be multicolumn, but how
> do you center a column heading when you want the remainder of the
> column to be right aligned?

Use \multicolumn with one column.
> Anyway, my tables worked quite well for a first attempt, but I must say
> it is slower to make a table this way versus a graphical interface.

But you've got much more control. There are some very nice packages that add
versatility to the tabular environment.

> I love not having to worry about where my figures end up (one of my
> main beef with Word). But many ended up alone on a page, when I thought
> there was enough space for a few lines of text on the same page. I have
> a very small sample size, remember, but it looks to me that text will
> be placed with my floats only if whole paragraphs can fit. Is there a
> way to have parts of paragraph accompany floats on a page, or if this a
> behavior that insures better looking document and I should not mess
> with it?

Sorry, I'm no expert on floats. Understanding exactly how they work and how
to (sort of) control them is a complex problem and multiple people are
working on that.

> Finally, although I don't need this right now, in biology we often have
> to submit documents that have lots of space between the lines within
> paragraphs (double interligne in French). It is not pretty, but
> journals want the manuscripts that way. How would you do this? And if
> the journal also wants line numbers to appear in the left margin, can
> this be done with LaTeX?

\renewcommand{\baselinestretch}{1.6} should do fine. This is a multiplier
for the line spacing; setting it to two makes the spacing look much too

> Well, this is enough for one message. Thanks in advance to those who
> can help.
> Denis Chabot

Good Luck,

Herb Schulz
(herbs at wideopenwest.com)

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