Old fashioned spacing in LaTeX

Laurentius's picture

(NOT "french spacing" as with \frenchspacing.)

There are two things I should very much like to know. The first is probably simpler, but the second would be better.

1. Is it possible to get english or french spacing around "!", ";", "?", and "!" without selecting french as the language after whose rules words are split at the ends of lines, i.e. without \selectlanguage{french} ?

2. Is it possible to do this but also increase the space after the last period (or similar sign) in a sentence, e.g. to 1 em?

Thanks in advance.

speter's picture

Yes, it's possible, but it's rather advanced.

I would create a new language definition file for the babel package and copy the spacing rules for the characters you need from the frenchb.ldf file. Then you just load your new language file via babel: \usepackage[norwegian2,french]{babel}.

As for the post-punctuation spacing, that's usually handled by means of a percentage, rather than an absolute value. So, to get \frenchspacing after a period without specifying \frenchspacing, do

\sfcode`\\.1000

This sets the spacing factor after a period to be 1. (For standard American typesetting, it's set to 3, i.e., \sfcode`\\.3000.)

If you want additional help for any of this, feel free to contact me via email, and I would be glad to help.

Laurentius's picture

Thank you for your help. Copying the code that seemed relevant in frenchb.ldf did not work, however, however, I was able to use ecclesiastic.sty, changing all occurrences of "latin" to "danish", as well as adding the following, to allow normal "(?)" and "(!)":

\useshorthands{(}
\defineshorthand{(?}{\string(?}
\useshorthands{(}
\defineshorthand{(!}{\string(!}

As regards the space between sentences, I do not want to merely to be a glue factor (or whatever), but an extra space, that is always visible and wonderfully archaïc. Know how?

NB! When I say french spacing, I mean the opposite of \frenchspacing. I mean extra space before ?, !, :, and ;, as well as between sentences. Not the boring stuff that \frenchspacing does. Possibly, this is more correctly referred to as english spacing.

Nick Shinn's picture

Karsten Luecke has provided this feature -- he calls it "typographic spacing" IIRC -- in some of his fonts, as a Stylistic Set.

speter's picture

As regards the space between sentences, I do not want to merely to be a glue factor (or whatever), but an extra space, that is always visible and wonderfully archaïc. Know how?

Very easy: \\xspaceskip=1em.

Laurentius's picture

Thank you. This works fine, until I change the language with \selectlanguage. The value of \xspacefactor does not change, but for some reason, it will have no effect throughout the rest of the document. Any idea what might remedy this?

speter's picture

If you always want that xspacefactor, put it in the ldf file for that language.

Laurentius's picture

Yeah, I found out what the trouble was. Seems \selectlanguage{german} involves \frenchspacing, so I defined a \german that turns that off again.

Laurentius's picture

Would it be possible to prevent the colon from having the effect of dividing periods ("sentences")? (What a crazy idea, that they should.)

speter's picture

I don't understand what it is you're asking.

Laurentius's picture

To prevent the extra space of \xspaceskip after colons.

speter's picture

They shouldn't have extra space. There must be something screwy in your ldf file.

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