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Re: Observations using utmac

From: Pierre-Jean Fichet
Subject: Re: Observations using utmac
Date: Thu, 29 Oct 2020 21:04:04 +0100
User-agent: neatmail (git://

Hello Johann,

Johann Höchtl<> wrote:
> I used the wonderful utmac-macro set on an arbitrary text which is in 
> the PD. I admit it was more like playing to discover the possibilities 
> of troff and utmac.
> I made some observations I would like to show / discuss.

Thank you for your feedback and the effort made to install and test
utmac. Please, note that utmac is not supported by troff and groff
communities. It's only the macro set I use, and that I published
because of the efforts that came into it. As far as I know, I'm the
only one using them.

> Attached is the source file [...] The resulting pdf as well.

I'm joining here a fixed source file, and the pdf produced by the
makefile joined in utmac/demo.

Here follow some explanations:

> p9 / p10, last paragraph: left aligned without a macro request

The .PP macro, which introduces a paragraph is mandatory, even after a
heading. Without it, there are unexpected results.

> p1: In the toc Table of content is written although there is no TOC heading.

To get an ordinary TOC, one should use the .XT macro. This macro comes
with a TOC heading, but only works at the end of a document.

The summary macros are made to produce summaries, which are not
exactly table of contents, but a summary of a chapter. In your
document, it would be more semantically correct to use the .S3 macro.

> p1: Lots of space to the left for the toc.

The S3 macro produces correct results. There's obviously a bug since
the S* macro should work too. I'll have to investigate this one.

There are also odd behaviours with the page number not being right
aligned after hyphenated words. That's a glitch I thought fixed, but
which is obviously resisting me.

> General: The toc is interlinked but clicking on a xref-item doesn't 
> bring me to the item.

It will work when using neatpost and ps2pdf. Neatpdf is great, but as
far as I know, it does not support pdf links yet. 

> p2: widow
> p3: widow

Utmac does not fixes widows and orphans automatically. But it should
detect them, and inform the user at generation time. How to fix widows
and orphans is a discussion on itself, but my opinion is that manual
intervention is the best way to fix them.

Thank you for your feedback!

Description: Text Data

Attachment: russelb.pdf
Description: Adobe PDF document

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