# [OS X TeX] Book class tweaks

Ross Moore ross at ics.mq.edu.au
Mon Jan 15 00:43:00 EST 2007

Hi David,

On 15/01/2007, at 4:02 PM, david craig wrote:

>
> I'm using the book class to produce a laboratory manual.  (This may
> not be the best choice, but I don't have time to switch right now.
> For the record, is there a notably better choice?  Nothing I found
> on CTAN seemed especially compelling.  The documentation for memoir
> and my inability to find an appropriately reasonable template kept
> me away from it for now.)
>
> Anyway ... I'd like to tweak some of the formatting parameters.
> Perusing book.cls shows me how to fiddle with some of them, but I
> find myself at a loss to adjust some list properties such as the
> spacing between list items and their indentation.  (In the latter
> case, what seemed like the obvious choices did not have the
> expected effect, so I'm hoping for moreexpert advice.)

Some parameters need to be adjusted *after* the environment starts;
others need to be done *before* entering the environment.
In the latter case, for list-like environments, sometimes you need
to know also what level of nested list is to be adjusted.

For example, adjusting the item-separation can be done inside
the environment:

\begin{enumerate}
\item
...
...

But  \topsep  and  \partopsep  need to occur before it:

\begingroup
\begin{enumerate}
\item
...
...
\end{enumerate}
\endgroup

One way to simplify the coding for this is to define

\newenvironment{numberedlist}{%
\begingroup
}{%
\end{enumerate}%
\endgroup
}

and use simply:

\begin{numberedlist}
\item ...
\item ...
...
\end{numberedlist}

But beware that you cannot nest these {numberedlist}
environments, else the \itemsep will be further
reduced for the nested instances.

For item indents, you need to adjust the \leftmargin .
But there are many of these; e.g. (from book.cls )

\setlength\leftmargini  {2.5em}
\setlength\leftmarginii  {2.2em}
\setlength\leftmarginiii {1.87em}
\setlength\leftmarginiv  {1.7em}
\setlength\leftmarginv  {.5em}
\setlength\leftmarginvi {.5em}

That is, \leftmargin  is actually a variable whose value is
determined at the start of the environment. It is determined by
the above 6 values, which show how much to add for each new level
of nesting (from i to vi).

Simply adding to \leftmargin  before entering the list-environment
certainly will *not* work. You must adjust the appropriate one of
the above, according to the nesting-level.

>
> Thanks,
> David Craig

Hope this helps,

Ross

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ross Moore                                         ross at maths.mq.edu.au
Mathematics Department                             office: E7A-419
Macquarie University                               tel: +61 +2 9850 8955
Sydney, Australia  2109                            fax: +61 +2 9850 8114
------------------------------------------------------------------------