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I would like to start my thesis with a blank page with a quote of a famous scientist. I however do not find an elegant way to create the following in a estecially pleasing way (a larger font, stylish quotes). Key points: Insert blank page with quote centered both vertically and horizontally.

"Quote" Author 1955

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possible duplicate of Acknowledgement/Dedication problem –  percusse May 25 '12 at 3:59
    
Maybe I should add that I am using documentclass{book} –  Gijs Hompes May 25 '12 at 7:41
    
@GijsHompes I've updated my answer. Now you don't have to manually calculate the width of the \parbox; I've also added another options based on barbara beeton's comment. –  Gonzalo Medina May 25 '12 at 13:33
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3 Answers 3

up vote 8 down vote accepted

The style chosen will depend heavily on the style you're using for other elements of your document (for example fonts, page layout, sectional units formatting), so it's difficult to produce a "universal solution". Here's one possibility; I chose not to center it vertically but to use the double of space below the quote than the space above it; the width of the \parbox is calculated as the width of the longest line of the quote (stored in the length \longest):

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{lmodern}

\newlength\longest

\begin{document}

\clearpage

\thispagestyle{empty}
\null\vfill

\settowidth\longest{\huge\itshape just as his inclination leads him;}
\centering
\parbox{\longest}{%
  \raggedright{\huge\itshape%
   A man ought to read \\ 
  just as his inclination leads him; \\
  for what he reads as a task \\ 
  will do him little good.\par\bigskip
  }   
  \raggedleft\Large\MakeUppercase{Samuel Johnson}\par%
}

\vfill\vfill

\clearpage

\end{document}

enter image description here

babrbara beeton suggested to place the author flush right as it's often used in epigraphs:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{lmodern}

\newlength\longest

\begin{document}

\clearpage

\thispagestyle{empty}
\null\vfill

\settowidth\longest{\huge\itshape just as his inclination leads him;}
\centering
\parbox{\longest}{%
  \raggedright{\huge\itshape%
   A man ought to read \\ 
  just as his inclination leads him; \\
  for what he reads as a task \\ 
  will do him little good.\par\bigskip
  }   
  \raggedleft\Large\MakeUppercase{Samuel Johnson}\par%
}

\vfill\vfill

\clearpage

\end{document}

enter image description here

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1  
consider setting the author flush right (\raggedleft). it will "square off" the block and make it a little easier to identify the author of the quotation. this approach is often used with epigraphs. –  barbara beeton May 25 '12 at 12:39
    
@barbarabeeton I've added this option to my answer. I initially proposed the non-flushed option since I wanted to emulate the style used by Michael Spivak in his Calculus. –  Gonzalo Medina May 25 '12 at 14:03
    
this is certainly subjective, so showing both possibilities is good. –  barbara beeton May 25 '12 at 16:04
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This should get you started:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{lipsum,csquotes,setspace}
\usepackage[charter]{mathdesign}
\usepackage[a4paper,margin=1in,showframe]{geometry} %%remove showframe in your document
%
\makeatletter
\def\nobottom{%
\def\@texttop{\ifnum\c@page>0\vskip \z@ plus 3fil\relax\fi}
\def\@textbottom{\ifnum\c@page>0\vskip \z@ plus 2fil\relax\fi}}
%
\def\resetopandbottom{%
\def\@texttop{\ifnum\c@page>0\vskip 0pt plus .00006fil\relax\fi}
\def\@textbottom{\ifnum\c@page>0\vskip 0pt plus .00006fil\relax\fi}}
\makeatother
%
\begin{document}
\nobottom
\pagestyle{empty}
\begin{displayquote}[\upshape\bfseries Author 1955][---]
\onehalfspacing\Large\itshape
\lipsum[1]
\end{displayquote}
\clearpage
%
\resetopandbottom
\pagestyle{headings}
%
\lipsum[1-10]
%
\end{document}

enter image description here

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Both solutions given worked as a charm, I however chose for the first option, pure for estetical reasons. To implement this in latex is straightforward. To implement this in LyX, is a tad less straightforward, hence the steps needed to achieve this effect:

  1. Hit CTRL+L (insert latex code) and add \null\vfill
  2. Insert a frameless box and set it's inner box to Parbox by using the settingswindow.
  3. In the parbox hit CTRL+L again and insert \raggedright{\huge\itshape%
  4. Type your quote
  5. CTRL+L:\par\bigskip} \Large{author}\par%}
  6. Jump out of the box and below the parbox add these lines (again CTRL+L) \vfill\vfill \clearpage
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