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: 
\emph{anubhavad}; N: \emph{anubhavād}.} granthajārthasya samyak\\
pūrṇābdīyaṃ phalaṃ sadgrahagaṇitavidāṃ \emph{aṃhrireṇoḥ}\footnote{N: 
\emph{aṅghri-}, 
with identical meaning.} \emph{prasādāt}\footnote{N: \emph{prasādaḥ}.}||
\end{miniedition}

Output (with added text before and after:
The miniedition text is indented left and right, and followed immediately by the critical notes.  The footnotes at the bottom of the page are a separate series.  In both the main body text and the miniedition, you just use \footnote{} for your notes; LaTeX does the right thing by itself according to context. 
The miniedition environment does not break across pages, it is meant for for short fragments of text, one or two ślokas. 
This example is taken from Gansten 2017.

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