Sunday, August 24, 2008

Liturgical TeX

One of the things I've been working on is figuring out how to set liturgically things on the computer.  There are certain stylistic requirements for my tastes, all of which can be difficult to meet in the same program.  I've had a lot of luck with, but of course styles stay hidden, and errors can creep in when one forgets to use a style instead of manually setting something, and then goes to change the style later.

I've flirted with TeX before, but the learning curve is a bit steep.  I've recently come back to it when I learned that XeTeX will use features that certain .att or opentype fonts may contain- and it's the only free program, besides TextEdit, that will, on Mac.  Hoefler Text, one of the fonts that comes with the Mac OS, has a lot of these features, such as "archaic" ligatures, and internal long Ss.
Using XeLaTex, this is what I've come up with recently.

XeTeX allows the use of unicode characters - though it took me a while to figure out that the file must be saved, at least in TeXShop, with "UTF-8" specified as the encoding - both for opening and closing.  It won't default to it.

The drop caps are set with the "lettrine" package; the fonts set with "fontspec."
To get the stars, versicle and response, and cross symbols, I used these macros:

\font\Versiculus="Cardo:color=FF0000" % Cardo and Apple
% Symbols are the only two fonts I
% have with the Versicle and
% Response symbols; TeX won't
% substitute automatically.
\def\{$\star$\ } % TeX's star is only in math mode
\def\V{ {\Versiculus ℣.}}
\def\R{ {\Versiculus ℟.}}
\def\cross {{\fontspec{Zapf Dingbats} ✠ }}

So, using the packages fontspec, xunicode, xltxtra, and lettrine, the first bit is set like this:

\setmainfont[UprightFeatures={Ligatures={Common,Rare},Swashes=Inner}, ItalicFeatures={Ligatures=Rare,Swashes=Inner,Colour=ff0000}]{Hoefler Text}

\chapter*{Table Blessings}  % the * is to suppress numbering.
\section*{Before Dinner \\ Throughout the Year}
\V Bless ye.  \R The Lord.
\subsection{Psalm 145. 15-16.}
\lettrine[lines=3]{\fontspec{Goudy Initialen}T}{he} eyes of all wait upon thee, O Lord; \⋆ and thou givest them their meat in due season.
% The first drop cap is a different font; the
% successive ones will be \lettrine{T}{he}
Thou openest thine hand, \⋆ and fillest all things living with plenteousness.

Glory be \emph{\&c.}

\V Lord have mercy upon us.  \R Christ, have mercy upon us.

% ... and so on

Next up, I'm going to experiment with another documentclass I found, called memoir, to see if that doesn't make it easier to fix the margins, headings, and spacing to be more in line with liturgical norms.

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