(not) typesetting answers (was Re: [OS X TeX] Text area borders)

William Adams will.adams at frycomm.com
Thu Mar 23 07:10:52 EST 2006

On Mar 23, 2006, at 3:50 AM, Josep M. Font wrote:

> The "exam" class is a really great one, and gives one (almost)  
> everything one may need to format out exams in a variety of styles  
> and with many bells and whistles . . .  save the task of spacing  
> out the questions automatically, which seems to be what Alain is  
> after. Please correct me if I am wrong, but I think with "exam" you  
> have to explicitly tell LaTeX how much blank space you want between  
> questions in order to leave room for answers. You can also put  
> \vspace*{\fill} after each question on the page and use \newpage to  
> end the page, and then the questions will be equally spaced, but  
> this is not a common situation.
> What I do is to start with no space, typeset, look at the resulting  
> formatted exam, and then decide the amount of space for each answer  
> and insert a \vspace*{the_required_space} command after each  
> question, as the space is normally different for each question. A  
> certain process of trial-and-error is necessarily involved in this,  
> and it is difficult to see how this might be avoided.

Just out of curiousity, why not have the typeset space the answer  
takes up determine the (minimum) amount of space left?

Just set it in a font and size which reasonably approximates a  
typical student's handwriting in a \vphantom or other non-marking box  
w/ an \allowbreak or some such after and it'll ``just work''.


William Adams
senior graphic designer
Fry Communications

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