[OS X TeX] Re: [OS X TeX] KOMA vs. memoir vs. ConTeXt vs. …

Maarten Sneep maarten.sneep at xs4all.nl
Tue Apr 19 07:22:06 EDT 2005

Hi Ingo (and others),

It all depends. KOMA and Memoir are both based on LaTeX, so a 
transition from and to other document classes is relatively painless, 
for example if you want to submit an article to a journal. ConTeXt is a 
bit more cumbersome in that respect, although its structure and 
completeness is very nice, and for interactive documents (or an 
interactive version of a book) it is pretty hard to match. I didn't use 
it because to journal requirements and at the time bibliographic 
support was limited (this may have changed, I didn't check).

On 19 apr 2005, at 4:35, Ingo Reich wrote:

> What are your experiences with these packages?

I used Memoir for my thesis. I like it a lot, and the documentation is 
very good. My thesis was on a physics subject, so quite a bit of maths 
appeared in there. Although it was never really intended to handle 
that, adding the amsmath package made the process pretty painless.

> Which one would you recommend for which purpose, and why (e.g. ease of 
> use; compatibility with other style files, e.g., ps-tricks 
> compatibility; large feature sets etc. pp.)?

As far as I know ps-tricks and Memoir are fully compatible, although I 
use metapost to handle graphics (a left-over from a short trial of 

> For example, I got the first impression that KOMA script is probably 
> *the* tool for writing letters, but that the memoir class may provide 
> a bit more flexibility, if you want to set a book (but I may be 
> completely wrong).

Memoir is a single documentclass, for use with books, and book-like 
documents (reports, long articles, but not letters). the KOMA classes 
are a bunch of related classes, and provide broader functionality. That 
said, I really enjoyed using Memoir, and would recommend it to everyone 
who is looking for a flexible documentclass.

Further advice: If your document is going to be printed at a not so 
standard size (in my case 17 x 24 cm), I would recommend to prepare the 
document at true size, so that the printer doesn't have to do any 
scaling. Another issue to take care of is to make sure the text height 
is an exact multiple of the line-height (which involves some fiddling 
with \topskip:

\linespread{1.2} % a bit more 'air' is needed with lucida than is 
available in the default setup
\setlength{\onelineskip}{1.2\baselineskip} % a temporary length to hold 
the current line spacing
\newlength{\scratchlength} % Memoir and the calc package don't really 
like each other
%:Type block definition
\setlength{\scratchlength}{\onelineskip*39+\topskip} % for 40 lines on 
a page: 39 normal lines + the first line
\settypeblocksize{\scratchlength}{38pc}{*} % use the scratchlength to 
define the typeblock.

Hope this helps,


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