ednotes sample

Critical Edition Typesetting with LaTeX

For typesetting critical editions in the traditional manner with LaTeX, there are (somewhat basically) two macro packages:

When both packages were devised, critical edition typesetting with TeX required the EDMAC macros by Dominik Wujastyk and John Lavagnino. EDMAC, however, is not compatible with LaTeX, which many prefer to Plain TeX. So ledmac was written as (almost) a port of EDMAC to LaTeX (while its functionality has increased much since). ednotes was written as an attempt at a somewhat smarter user interface than that of EDMAC.

For a quick comparison of ednotes and ledmac here (assuming you have some prior knowledge):

  • Where you type \edtext{lemma}{\Afootnote{note}} with ledmac, you type \Anote{lemma}{note} with ednotes (hey!).
  • Where you type \edtext{lemma}{\Afootnote{note A}\Bfootnote{note B}} with ledmac, you type \Bnote{\Anote{lemma}{note A}}{note B} with ednotes (oh …).
  • Learning ledmac may be easy for former EDMAC users, while learning ednotes may be easier for former LaTeX users. E.g., ledmac introduces its own user macros for tables, while ednotes supplies LaTeX tabular environments with hooks for critical editing internally, i.e.: without bothering users. On the other hand, the EDMAC macros for the appearance of line numbers (in the margins) have been retained in ledmac, while with ednotes the user is referred to the commands of Stephan I. Böttcher’s .
  • You can handle overlapping lemmas with ledmac when line breaks have been fixed; you can handle overlapping lemmas with ednotes without this precondition.
  • ledmac offers features like endnotes, columnar footnotes, and quite a few very new things which ednotes does not provide (at present). Most notably, a package ledpar adds parallel typesetting in columns or on facing pages (translations, e.g.).
  • For editing verse (poetry, plays), ledmac and John Burt’s poemscol package offer special facilities.
  • After Peter Wilson retired, packages reledmac and reledpar have been created as variants of ledmac and ledpar that are actively developed “in parallel” with being applied.

Here are a few links for learning more on the matters mentioned above (etc.):

  • Download an article (PDF, 252 KB) that
    • explains what the traditional manner of typesetting critical editions is (cf. the comprehensive Wikipedia article);
    • compares ednotes with ledmac;
    • outlines the user interface and functionality of ednotes.
    (A former version of this article appeared in TUGboat (vol. 24, no. 2), the journal of the TeX Users Group.)
  • See some works that have been typeset with ednotes.
  • Download ednotes.
  • Visit a large web page explaining and exemplifying ledmac and more.
  • Download ledmac.
  • Learn about EDMAC and other software for typesetting critical editions.
  • David Kastrup has uploaded his bigfoot package in 2006. As soon as time allows, it could be used by ednotes for an improved handling of the apparatus. However, it may be considered a package for a different style of critical editions on its own right; namely using familiar footnote marks (instead of line numbers), supporting editorial comments to footnotes of the document that is edited.
  • Besides poemscol for collections of poems, there is John Burt’s edmargin, which refers to comments in the margin of the edited text, comments appearing as endnotes.
  • Find out what TeX and LaTeX are; or try the more detailed Wikipedia article on LaTeX.
  • Contact the maintainers of ednotes.

“Lyrics” by Uwe Lück.
Thanks to Karl Berry
(TUGboat editor) for
the (La)TeX links!

Last revised 2015-12-03 © Uwe Lück

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