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Re: Large curly brackets in tbl

From: Oliver Corff
Subject: Re: Large curly brackets in tbl
Date: Thu, 26 Nov 2020 11:06:38 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:68.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/68.11.0

Dear Tadziu,

I am impressed and deeply thankful. You made my day with the solution
you offered, because a number of tables in my material require these
vertically spanning brackets.

To your question about the source: The original is most certainly offset
print, definitely not letterpress (early editions seemed to be, but the
more recent materials (1979 onwards) is definitely not letterpress. You
guessed the contents quite well. It is not from the DDR (GDR to our
native English readers) but /about/ the GDR, actually an old
government-curated handbook which I try to remake in a modern fashion. A
bit like the UTP project, so to think.

Thanks again, Oliver.

On 26/11/2020 00:14, Tadziu Hoffmann wrote:

I tried to create an otherwise empty pile in eqn:
Troff has the bracket-building function \b'...'
which stacks the given characters atop each other,
but the result is usually suboptimal, because the
stack turns out to be either too big or too small
(the vertical spacing is fixed, and for braces
you have to use an even number of extensions).

(You can see that the original shows something similar: the
bottom brace is somewhat smaller relative to the six lines it
spans that the top one relative to its four lines.  But their
font probably has the pieces in smaller-size increments that the
fonts available to groff by default.  Do you have the originals?
Can you tell whether this is offset printing or perhaps even
letterpress?  Is this from the DDR?)

The next best thing you can do is format the braces in tbl as
a separate paragraph and simply fiddle with the line spacing
manually until the size comes out right.  Or position the
pieces by hand with the help of \v'...' and \h'...' or \Z'...'.

I attach an example using the first approach.  The source is not
pretty, but the output is a fair approximation to the original,
except that the brace endpieces from the Symbol font
(version 001.008) are not as nice.

(Also, the spacing between the blocks in the original seems
somewhat haphazard.  And the original does not have an f-i
ligature in "Erwachsenenqualifizierung".)

For the horizontal brace you would need a font that provides
horizontally extensible braces, like TeX's fonts.
Otherwise you probably have no option other than some
PostScript trickery using device escapes.

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