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Let's say I have a \valign like:

\parindent=0pt
\tabskip=\baselineskip
\valign{& \hsize=.5\hsize\raggedright #\crcr
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&
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&
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&
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&
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&
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\cr
}

\bye

then how come it doesn't break pages between the items? Even if I \setbox it into a \vbox and \vsplit it to \vsize!? Is it somehow possible to break page inside \valign?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 6 down vote accepted

An \halign makes a vertical list of hboxes, with containing hboxes with adjusted widths for the aligned cells.

The rarely used \valign makes a horizontal list of vboxes containing vboxes with adjusted heights for the aligned cells.

You just have a single column so you have a single vbox in your horizontal list.

A vbox never breaks over a page.


You can of course extract the vbox and unbox it:

\parindent=0pt
\tabskip=\baselineskip

\setbox0=\hbox{\valign{& \hsize=.5\hsize\raggedright #\crcr
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consetetur sadipscing elitr, sed diam nonumy eirmod tempor invidunt ut labore et dolore magna aliquyam erat, sed diam voluptua. At vero eos et accusam et justo duo dolores et ea rebum. Stet clita kasd gubergren, no sea takimata sanctus est Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consetetur sadipscing elitr, sed diam nonumy eirmod tempor invidunt ut labore et dolore magna aliquyam erat, sed diam voluptua. At vero eos et accusam et justo duo dolores et ea rebum. Stet clita kasd gubergren, no sea takimata sanctus est Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consetetur sadipscing elitr, sed diam nonumy eirmod tempor invidunt ut labore et dolore magna aliquyam erat, sed diam voluptua. At vero eos et accusam et justo duo dolores et ea rebum. Stet clita kasd gubergren, no sea takimata sanctus est Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet.
&
Duis autem vel eum iriure dolor in hendrerit in vulputate velit esse molestie consequat, vel illum dolore eu feugiat nulla facilisis at vero eros et accumsan et iusto odio dignissim qui blandit praesent luptatum zzril delenit augue duis dolore te feugait nulla facilisi. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat.
&
Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis autem vel eum iriure dolor in hendrerit in vulputate velit esse molestie consequat, vel illum dolore eu feugiat nulla facilisis at vero eros et accumsan et iusto odio dignissim qui blandit praesent luptatum zzril delenit augue duis dolore te feugait nulla facilisi.
&
Nam liber tempor cum soluta nobis eleifend option congue nihil imperdiet doming id quod mazim placerat facer possim assum. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.
&
Duis autem vel eum iriure dolor in hendrerit in vulputate velit esse molestie consequat, vel illum dolore eu feugiat nulla facilisis.
&
At vero eos et accusam et justo duo dolores et ea rebum. Stet clita kasd gubergren, no sea takimata sanctus est Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consetetur sadipscing elitr, sed diam nonumy eirmod tempor invidunt ut labore et dolore magna aliquyam erat, sed diam voluptua. At vero eos et accusam et justo duo dolores et ea rebum. Stet clita kasd gubergren, no sea takimata sanctus est Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consetetur sadipscing elitr, At accusam aliquyam diam diam dolore dolores duo eirmod eos erat, et nonumy sed tempor et et invidunt justo labore Stet clita ea et gubergren, kasd magna no rebum. sanctus sea sed takimata ut vero voluptua. est Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consetetur sadipscing elitr, sed diam nonumy eirmod tempor invidunt ut labore et dolore magna aliquyam erat.
\cr
}}

\setbox0\hbox{\unhbox0\global\setbox1\lastbox}

\unvbox1

\bye
share|improve this answer
    
Are you saying that \valign can horizontally align tabbed vertical stacks, kind of like what I do with tabstackengine? –  Steven B. Segletes May 17 at 10:51
    
@StevenB.Segletes valign does exactly what halign does if you swap h and v and horizontal and vertical. Not sure whether that answers yes or no to your question:-) –  David Carlisle May 17 at 10:53
    
Fascinating. It does seem closely related; With tabstackengine, I build an aligned array vertically (column by column) working my way across the columns, rather than horizontally (row by row) working my way down the rows. Also, the \unhbox and \lastbox stuff I've only seen recently in some of your posts. It also looks like a very powerful way to help address the pagebreak problem for boxes. –  Steven B. Segletes May 17 at 10:59
1  
@StevenB.Segletes I vaguely remember Knuth writes somewhere in the TeXBook that even the expert TeX user needs on average at least 18 months of practice before encountering a situation enticing him to do some \valign things. –  jfbu May 17 at 17:26
    
@jfbu People usually work with \TeX\ at least a year before they find their first application for |\valign|; and then it's usually a one-row |\valign{\vfil#\vfil\cr...}|. But the general mechanism is there if you need it. –  David Carlisle May 17 at 17:56

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