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I'm writing a moderately large reference work using memoir. As it falls naturally into parts by audience, I'd like to include partial tables-of-contents, by part.

I have managed to get my head round minitoc, which now appears to be working well with memoir. At this stage, I need and would welcome opinions on possible layouts and how to achieve them. This is a twoside document, in which I'm facing four choices:

  1. The "standard" way: Part page on recto, blank verso, Part contents on next recto, first Chapter on next recto
  2. The "standard, less wasteful" way: Part page on recto, Part contents on next verso, first Chapter on next recto
  3. The "compact" way: Part page on recto, Part contents on same recto below the part title
  4. The "inverted" way Part page on recto, Part contents on previous verso (facing the part title)

By tweaking the parameters, I've managed to do all of these, and the one I like best is the inverted one. It takes advantage of an otherwise wasted page; it doesn't distract from the flow; and it's there if you need it.

There is, however, a poisonous interaction with \mainmatter, which does a \cleardoublepage; this in turn compounds with my cleartoverso to provide a minimum of two blank pages before the first Part. I can avoid this by removing \frontmatter and \mainmatter, but I'm not sure this is a good idea.

A second choice is the compact one. The partial toc is small enough to fit after the part title (though it needs some tweaking of beforepartskip to stop the title text bobbing up and down on the page).

I'd like to hear arguments in favour of, or against, my preference (or any of the options described), and/or ideas for solving the \mainmatter dilemma.

Following lockstep's answer, I can see more merit in the compact choice, with a page-number-less parttoc.

Final answer: I have accepted lockstep's answer. I'm using the compact option, but with page numbers. Thanks, lockstep!

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Two points regarding the "inverted" way, the second of them relating to your \mainmatter dilemma:

  • If the last page containing text before a new part is a verso page, putting the part contents on a verso page "facing the part title" will actually create an additional empty recto page.

  • One reason to use \frontmatter and \mainmatter is switching from roman to arabic page numbering. As the part contents of the first mainmatter part also belong to the mainmatter, they should have arabic page numbering. That is, they should be placed on page 2, while the actual part title is page 3. Page 1 will be an empty recto page. (Your notion of "a minimum of two blank pages before the first Part" is incorrect, as the last verso page of the frontmatter may contain text.)

My personal preferences would be for either the "standard, less wasteful" or the "compact" way.

EDIT: In principle, there's nothing wrong with a recto page belonging to the frontmatter (say, a list of tables), followed by a verso page belonging to the mainmatter (say, the part contents of the first mainmatter part). However, this interacts badly with a switch from roman to arabic page numbering.

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Thank you for that. In this specific case (only), the last page of the front matter is a small list of tables, so there will be no text on the last verso of the front matter, but I accept that that particular page belongs to the front rather than the main matter. The additional empty recto page you mention is, I think, not much different from an analogous empty verso page if the last text page of a part or chapter is recto. – Brent.Longborough Feb 12 '11 at 16:42
@Brent: Yes, the additional empty recto page isn't any different from an analogous empty verso page, but in your question you spoke of "tak[ing] advantage of an otherwise wasted page". – lockstep Feb 12 '11 at 16:51
Oops! Yes, I really had a Doh moment there... – Brent.Longborough Feb 12 '11 at 17:26

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