# Writing that chapter…

m on May 25th, 2009

It’s been forever since I’ve contributed to the Humanities Dissertation Project, I fear. I have something big in the background that I’m preparing toward it, but I thought I’d take advantage of my recent presentation of part of a chapter for the American Cultures workshop to include some handy (Xe)LaTeX tips I picked up.

The biggest irritation I had with the memoir class was that, for some reason, it was doublespacing my footnotes when I used the \DoubleSpacing command. I figured out how to stop that: I erased the line for \VerbatimFootnotes. I’m not sure why I enabled that command in the first place, but I certainly don’t need it for now. I also took advantage of the titlepage examples in memoir to spiff up my title a bit. I thought it was too big and started too far down the page.

I used the \vskip command to make a whitespace break in between thoughts. You call this command by typing something like this:

\vskip 20pt

It took me forever to get it to work, since I kept putting the measurement in either braces or brackets.

Furthermore, I made a few macros to speed up typing. For example,

\newcommand{\usa}{\textit{U.S.A.}}

made it so that I could just type \usa\ when referring to the trilogy by Dos Passos.

Further, I wanted a set of figures arranged in a table, but treated as separate figures (and numbered as such). The memoir manual helped here, and I basically had a 3×4 matrix that looked, per row, like this:

 \begin{minipage}{0.3\textwidth} \centering \resizebox{\textwidth}{!}{\includegraphics{mac.png}} \caption{Mac} \label{mac} \end{minipage} \hfill \begin{minipage}{0.3\textwidth} \centering \resizebox{\textwidth}{!}{\includegraphics{janey.png}} \caption{Janey} \label{janey} \end{minipage} \hfill \begin{minipage}{0.3\textwidth} \centering \resizebox{\textwidth}{!}{\includegraphics{j-ward-moorehouse.png}} \caption{J. W. Moorehouse} \label{moorehouse} \end{minipage} \newline 

This was far easier than I expected it to be. The {!} means to auto-scale the graphic to fit the width while adjusting the vertical appropriately.

Finally, I had the yucky task of formatting part of The Big Money. It didn’t come out perfectly, as the \vinphantom is not working properly and the two instances of [{\ldots}] are misaligned, but here is the text I used:

 \begin{quotation}\SingleSpacing Comrades, let's sing,'' Don's voice shouted. Mary forgot everything as her voice joined his voice, all their voices, the voices of the crowds being driven back across the bridge in singing:

\begin{center}{\itshape Arise ye prisoners of starvation {\ldots}}

\vskip 30pt

\Large {\itshape Newsreel LXVI}

\vskip 15pt

\normalsize HOLMES DENIES STAY

\vskip 10pt

{\itshape A better world's in birth} \end{center} Tiny Wasps Imported from Korea In Battle To Death With Asiatic Beetle \vskip 10pt {\flushleft [{\ldots}]}

\begin{center} Washington Keeps Eye On Radicals

\vskip 10pt {\itshape Arise rejected of the earth} \vskip 10pt \textsc{paris brussels moscow geneva add their voices}

\begin{verse} \begin{center} {\itshape It is the final conflict}\vinphantom{ his}\\ \vinphantom{It }{\itshape Let each stand in his place} \end{center} \end{verse}

Geologist Lost In Cave Six Days

\vskip 10pt

{\itshape The International Party}

\vskip 10pt

SACCO AND VANZETTI MUST DIE

\vskip 10pt

{\itshape Shall be the human race.} \end{center}

{\flushleft [{\ldots}]}

\begin{center} \Large {\itshape The Camera Eye (50)} \end{center} \OnehalfSpacing \hspace{2 em}they\hspace{1 em}have\hspace{1 em}clubbed\hspace{1 em}us\hspace{1 em}off\hspace{1 em}the\hspace{1 em}streets\hspace{2 em}they\hspace{1 em}are\hspace{1 em}stronger\hspace{1 em}they are rich\hspace{1 em}they hire and fire the politicians the newspaper editors {\ldots} they hire the men with guns\hspace{2 em}the uniforms the policecars the patrolwagons

all right you have won\hspace{1 em}you will kill the brave men our friends tonight

there is nothing left to do\hspace{1 em}we are beaten\hspace{1 em}we the beaten crowd together\cite[1155–1156]{usa} \end{quotation}

You can see the results here. And a shortened version of the .tex file, which generates the pdf, is available here.

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