## Saturday, August 19, 2017

### Mini edition environment for LaTeX

When writing an article or book using the LaTeX document preparation system, Indologists sometimes want to have a śloka or two printed on the page with some text-critical notes.  A famous example of this kind of layout is Wilhelm Rao's 1977 edition of the Vākyapadīya that edits the whole text this way, in each verse having its own mini-critical-edition format.

Here is a simple way to get this kind of layout in LaTeX.  I create a new environment called "miniedition":

\newenvironment{miniedition}
{\addtolength{\textwidth}{-\rightmargin} % width of the quote environment
\begin{quote}
\begin{minipage}{\textwidth}
\itshape
\let\footnoterule\relax}
{\end{minipage}
\end{quote}}

This puts a minipage environment inside a quote environment, switches on italics and switches off the footnote rule.  It's pretty simple.  The clever bit is done by the minipage environment itself, that makes footnotes inside its own box, not at the bottom of the page.  The footnote numbers are lowercase alphabetical counters, to avoid confusion with footnotes outside the environment.
Here's how you would use it, and the result:

\begin{miniedition}
pāraṃparyād \emph{ṛte ’pi}\footnote{N: \emph{upataṃ}?} svayam
\emph{anubhavanād}\footnote{My conjecture; both manuscripts are one syllable
short. K: