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Re: [AUCTeX] Font size

From: Denis Bitouzé
Subject: Re: [AUCTeX] Font size
Date: Sun, 30 Jan 2011 21:33:31 +0100

Le dimanche 30/01/11 à 18h06,
Ralf Angeli <address@hidden> a écrit :

> I've now implemented the part about the macros.  That means if you
> mark some text and use `C-c C-m' to insert a macro which changes the
> font size, then the macro as well as the selected text will be
> enclosed by braces.

Very nice! Thanks!
> With respect to environments I'm not sure if this method should be
> supported because it seems to be a bit obscure.  I know it's mentioned
> in lshort

Indeed, but not only: it is also mentioned for instance in "The
Unofficial LaTeX Reference Manual" (`texdoc latex2e`).

> but apart from that I've never seen it in the wild.  Does
> anybody actually use it?

In fact, I don't but some TeX editors use to provide font size changes
only by way of environments.

> > In both cases auto-completion and (for beginners) menus would be
> > essential.
> Regarding the menus, the opposite is the case.  Beginners should not
> get used to these commands.  That's why they should not show up in the
> menus.  For an explanation why this can be problematic see e.g. the
> section "Danger, Will Robinson, Danger" in lshort.

Well... I agree and try to convince my students to separate logical and
visual markup. But I'm also pragmatic: in my LaTeX courses for
beginners, I try to make the transition from word processors as smooth
as possible by helping the users to find his feet: how to get bold
face, italic, underline (I suggest heavily to avoid it and to use
emphasize instead), center, right or left alignment, etc. and..., as it
is very easy to do it with word processors, how to change font size.

I think the logical/visual markup separation should not be applied too
strictly, especially with beginners. For instance, who actually defines
a logical markup command just in order to make bigger the title' size
of the document? If you require this for beginners, they will quickly
return to their lovely word processor! :)

And, after all, font styles (bold face, italic, typewriter, small caps,
etc. and, in a lesser measure, emphasize) also are visual markup but
they are provided as menus by AucTeX. Why not font sizes?

> > Would it be possible to detect, when the user asks for font
> > size changes of a selected region if it is (an) entire paragraph(s)
> > and add a "\par" command?
> I guess so.  But this will likely not work in every case.

Have you an example? I can't think of any case where it could fail...

>  And I think AUCTeX should not be too smart in such cases.

Yes, I could understand.

Thanks again.

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