# Re: commit -- Fix the margins in the LaTeX export.

Subject: Re: commit -- Fix the margins in the LaTeX export.
From: Joaquín Cuenca Abela (cuenca@ie2.u-psud.fr)
Date: Thu May 18 2000 - 11:13:15 CDT

sam th wrote:
>
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> On Thu, 18 May 2000, [iso-8859-1] Joaquín Cuenca Abela wrote:
>
> > I've fixed the margins of the LaTeX exporter. Now, it mimics the
> > margins of the AbiWord doc.
> > This feature is a bit different of the rest of features of the LaTeX
> > exporter... by default, the LaTeX commands that changes the margins of
> > the LaTeX document are commented out. If you really really know what
> > are you doing, just erase the % at the beginning of the two \setlength
> > commands that you can find in the preamble of the exported docs and you
> > will have a doc that mimics the abiword doc. If you leave the %, you
> > will obtain the LaTeX default margins.
>
> Might I venture to ask why? I realize that latex likes to do everything
> itself, and complains when you don't let it, but I think that if a user
> creates a document with specific margins, then we should export *those*
> margins as the default. If there is some deeper reason for this, please
> enlighten me. If not, maybe this could be an option (in the profile, of
> course).

Of course, you can ask why :)

It's not a problem with LaTeX itself (LaTeX will not complain if you
erase the initial `%').

In the traditional typography there is a rule that says "a line should
not contain more that 66 characters". Well, if you want an easy to read
document, you have to keep your lines with not more of 10 or 12 words
(i.e. not more of 60 or 70 characters by line). Due to this rule, LaTeX
produces by default narrow pages (if you use 10pt), and due to this rule
all the newspapers have several columns (for a newspaper the reading
speed is a very important factor).

When somebody want to export a document to LaTeX, the main reason (IMO)
is because it wants to give to his document the LaTeX "look". And the
LaTeX "look" consist in the Computer Modern fonts and the LaTeX layout
(with has been written with many of these little typographical rules in
mind).

I think that the right way to fix this problem (i.e. to know if the user
wants to keep the LaTeX layout or if he wants to export the doc layout)
is asking the user (a nice dialog box might do the work). If somebody
wants to add: "A church secretary doesn't want to see a dialog box when
she wants to save a doc with the LaTeX format!"... well, I think that
actually there are no churchs secretaries using LaTeX.

Anyways a want to ask to the LaTeX users of this list what's the desired
default? (for me, the desired default is to keep the LaTeX layout). So,
quick! vote! :)

Cheers,

```--
Joaquín Cuenca Abela
e-mail: cuenca@ie2.u-psud.fr
```

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