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(Not a duplicate of this question.)

I'm trying to typeset a document for my father, which contains a list of paragraphs that must be printed aligned on facing pages. Page breaks must ideally not occur within a paragraph (on either page). Also, the text is a non-Latin script so I have to use xelatex. What would be the best way to typeset this?

I've tried ledmac/ledpar. It doesn't seem to work with itemize, so for now I've typed paragraph numbers manually. The result is a pair of pages that looks like this (LaTeX source):

Two pages using ledpar

This is almost ok, except that

  • The paragraphs 5 are not aligned for some reason (the one on the right is lower),
  • I'm not sure how to prevent page breaks within a paragraph (I tried samepage and it didn't work, neither did parbox, and using minipage gave ledmac errors "The left page has ended on a right page" and "The right page has ended on a left page", which were reflected in the output. Inserting a manual \pagebreak also didn't seem to help),
  • The "manual" itemize is ugly; at the very least one would like to have nothing below the item numbers.

I've also tried the parallel package, but it seems to typeset each pair of paragraphs on a separate pair of pages.

Is there a better solution, or some way to tweak the above into something better?

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1 Answer 1

In case anyone is interested, I ending up using more or less the setup I mentioned in the question (ledpar), with the following caveats:

  • Ledpar seems to be bad at aligning paragraphs perfectly; just live with it. They are usually close enough (like the paragraphs marked "5" in the image in the question).

  • Ledpar chokes if there are too many "chunks" (here, paragraphs) before a \Pages command to typeset what it has so far. In fact, on my system, when there were more paragraphs than could fit on a page, it typeset only the first pair of pages, silently discarding the rest. Even it didn't do this, there would still be a widow on the next page. So since you have to watch out and and decide the page breaks manually anyway, just put your \Pages where they don't break paragraphs.

  • Because it can be annoying to keep moving paragraphs of text around when you decide to try a new page break, I assigned a macro name to each paragraph, so that the actual LaTeX markup between pages is short and it's easier to move around. This also means that all the actual content is an section somewhat separate from rest of the LaTeX code, and that each pair of left and right paragraphs is together, which to me is good.

  • I used my own counter to automatically number the list, and used a negative value for parindent. Yeah, very crude hack and all that.

In case anyone is interested (or wants to help me remove some of the "cargo-cult programming" or improve something: I'd be glad to learn), the source document (with text changed) is in the first revision of this answer (also on pastebin), and it produces something that looks like:

the result

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