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I'd like to typeset documents using the 'Grid system' of page layout. Good examples are on pages 40-53 of this document. The textpos package is helpful for this, but two additional features would be useful:

  1. Automatic flow of text across (arbitrarily placed) columns / textpos blocks.
  2. Vertical line spacing enforced to be an integer multiple of a base line spacing, even when interrupted (for example) by an equation of arbitrary height.

Any ideas as to how either or both of these could be accomplished?

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+1 for the link to The Vignelli Canon -- interesting document. –  José Figueroa-O'Farrill Aug 9 '10 at 19:56
    
Are non-Latex answers (i.e., Context answers) acceptable? –  Charles Stewart Aug 9 '10 at 20:09
    
It looks as though there is no neat solution (to point 2 at least) in LaTeX, so ConTeXt (etc.) answers would also be interesting. –  Chris Johnson Aug 9 '10 at 22:19
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4 Answers

up vote 26 down vote accepted

Your requirement 2 is very difficult in latex (and a frequent topic of discussion when people get together to talk about future versions). As well as the grid package there is the gridset package. The grid package tries to make all vertical spaces a multiple of the baselineskip (or pairs of pre-/post-spacing that sum to a multiple of baselineskip), and removes vertical glue. The gridset package tries to "reset" the text back onto the grid after an odd-sized equation or floating figure or table, but it doesn't necessarily do it in the most aesthetic way, and it may take many compilation passes before convergence.

For your requirement 1, check out the flowfram package. It seems to do what you want.

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Aha! flowfram looks like it handles point 1 rather well. –  Chris Johnson Aug 10 '10 at 7:48
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If you would consider using ConTeXt: First, I don't know if I fully understand your question, but re.1 if you mean a DTP like flow of text across chained boxes it's not possible in ConTeXt. However you can take a look at the possibilities offered by columnsets and see if they fit your needs. Obviously you can also try using layers to obtain really complicated layouts.

re.2

\setuplayout[grid=yes]

and see options for

\setupinterlinspacing

in ConTeXt manual, for more of grid trickery see Details

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Commercial Plug

Just for completeness, there is a commercial TeX-based data-based publishing system named DocScape which is very much geared towards this kind of layout. See a product catalogue (62 MB!) as an example.

In practise, it mostly handles only question 1 (apart from setting \lineskiplimit and allowing to grid-aligned table rows), but being made for catalogs and such, it currently doesn't handle maths anyway ;-)

DISCLAIMER: I'm the author.

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See the grid package http://ctan.org/pkg/grid.

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