[OS X TeX] Semi-OT

Bruno Voisin bvoisin at mac.com
Sat Jan 22 10:51:34 EST 2005

Le 22 janv. 05, à 16:31, Jason Davies a écrit :

> I have been asked to lead a discussion for students and staff about
> presenting documents. I doubt very much that any will be inclined to 
> use
> LaTeX but what would be useful is an overview of why we use it - in
> terms of aesthetics, readability etc (why those large margins? kind of
> thing.) I think the idea is that people may consider applying such
> principles to (presumably) Word documents (eg choice of fonts, width of
> page, number of lines etc).

Regarding the large margins: the original LaTeX manual advocates the 
typographical rule that a line of text should not contain more than 
about 70 characters, for the reason that otherwise the reader's eyes 
would have to move too much for reading each individual line 
completely, creating tiredness and possibly headache after some time.

That said, personally I disagree with this rule, which seems to date 
back to the time when the concept of environmental awareness was not 
invented: wasting all this amount of paper on each page seems a shame. 
Generally first thing I do when creating a new LaTeX document is 
resetting the margins to 1 inch on all sides, whatever the character 

There are a number of typographical rules in the LaTeX manual that I 
disagree with, like the recommendation to use numbered references 
instead of author-date ones. Try to read a paper of each type: with 
numbered references, even when having some prior knowledge of the 
literature referred to, you are all the time interrupting your reading 
of the paper to move to the list of references so as to identify which 
publication is referred to; with author-date references, and provided 
you have some familiarity with the literature, then reading the author 
and date is sufficient to know which publication is referred to, 
without having to move to the list of references.

Bruno Voisin

--------------------- Info ---------------------
Mac-TeX Website: http://www.esm.psu.edu/mac-tex/
           & FAQ: http://latex.yauh.de/faq/
TeX FAQ: http://www.tex.ac.uk/faq
List Post: <mailto:MacOSX-TeX at email.esm.psu.edu>

More information about the MacOSX-TeX mailing list