[OS X TeX] Formatting the titles of lists

Jeffrey J Weimer weimerj at email.uah.edu
Thu Apr 12 22:52:29 EDT 2007

On Apr 12, 2007, at 9:09 PM, Michael Millett wrote:

> Yes, the above is what I mean. I should have said "vertically  
> aligned."
>> This might be handled by a package (paralist as Charilaos suggested).
> I looked at the documentation for "Paralist" in "LaTeX Companion"  
> Second Edition, but did not find quite what I was looking for. All  
> the formatting here went from top to bottom, rather than providing  
> for a highlight to the left.

Look at CTAN for the documentation for the paralist package. It may  
have more than you think. Also look for packages to create resumes. I  
think there is one with just that name???

>> Alternatively, define a new type of command/list environment using
>> \begin{minipage}{}\parbox[c]{text}\hfill\parbox[c]{text}\end 
>> {minipage}
> This will be a new LaTeX skill for me, and I am looking forward to  
> learning it.

The simplest setup is something like ...

Put your discussion here .... End
the last line with a period.

After this, you have to play with \mbox{} commands to get the center  
alignments of the two inner paragraphs to work. This is where Kopka  
and Daly come in handy (and some experimentation too!).

Again, if you can find (or someone suggests) a package to do  
automatically what you want, go for it! I am learning that  
reinventing the wheel with LaTeX is only worthwhile if you want to  
make a better wheel, not if you want to go somewhere on that wheel.

>> See page 88 of the 2nd edition of Kopka and Daly (A Guide to  
>> LaTeX) for a start on aligning adjoining paragraphs, especially on  
>> the tricks of using "empty" \mbox{} commands to get things to work.
> I do not have this book. But I have noticed several times already  
> in my few days on the list that this is a recommended book. I  
> bought Leslie Lamport's book as my basic guide. I like it a lot. It  
> just doesn't describe some things I would like to do. And The LaTeX  
> Companion is often too complicated for my current LaTeX skill level.

IMO, Kopka and Daly is a step above Lamport in that it far better  
organized when you really want to DO something with LaTeX rather than  
read about what it can do.

> Charilaos made reference to the difference between LaTeX and  
> TeXShop. I am not far enough in my experience with LaTeX to make  
> sense of this issue, yet. All I knew is ...

LaTeX is a programming method that uses computer code to TYPESET  
(create a wonderful document from) a text file. The LaTeX computer  
code runs on WinXX, Unix, Linux, Mac, Solaris, ....

As a first approximation, TeXShop is a text EDITOR that allows you,  
sitting on your Mac, to create the text files for LaTeX code to  
typeset. On WinXX, they use (gosh, I don't even know!!!) for an  
EDITOR. On Unix, they use vi or emacs. On Linux, they use ...

You can take your LaTeX text file, hand it to someone on a WinXX  
machine who has the LaTeX code installed, and he or she can generate  
the same document that you did using TeXShop. He/She will NOT use  
TeXShop to do this, just as you will (likely) not be using vi on your  
Mac when someone from the Unix world hands you a .tex file.


J. J. Weimer, Chemistry / Chemical & Materials Engineering
University of Alabama in Huntsville, MSB 125, 301 Sparkman Dr
Huntsville, AL 35899                phone: 256-824-6954

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