# How to format an email conversation?

I am currently writing my thesis and need to include a bunch of email conversions. I am using classicthesis. I wonder, how you would format stacked conversions. Moreover, how would you deal with the email header, signatures and *line break*s: why do I need to add \\ all the time?
This is the configuration I am currently experimenting with:

\documentclass[
oneside,
openright,
titlepage,
dottedtoc,
numbers=noenddot,
footinclude=true,
cleardoublepage=empty,
abstractoff,
BCOR=5mm,
paper=a4,
fontsize=11pt,
ngerman,
american
]
{scrreprt}

\PassOptionsToPackage{utf8}{inputenc}
\usepackage{inputenc}
\usepackage{blindtext}
\usepackage{framed}

% Vertical line that highlights quotations in an email.
% Use \begin{leftbar} and \end{leftbar} environment.
% Width of the line = 0.4pt
% Space between the line and the text = 10pt
% Requires \usepackage{framed}
\renewenvironment{leftbar}{%
\def\FrameCommand{\vrule width 0.4pt \hspace{10pt}}%
{\endMakeFramed}

\usepackage{nicefrac}
\usepackage[english]{babel}
\usepackage[pdfspacing]{classicthesis}

\begin{document}
\selectlanguage{ngerman} % american ngerman
% Disable paragraph indentation.
\setlength{\parindent}{0pt}

\begin{verbatim}
From: john.doe@yahoo.com
Date: Thu, 3 May 2012 11:34:54 +0200
To: Jane Doe <jane.doe@hotmail.com>
\end{verbatim}

Jane Doe wrote:
\begin{leftbar}
\begin{leftbar}
\begin{leftbar}
\begin{leftbar}
There are a couple of questions I like to ask. Please forward them if you cannot do so.
\end{leftbar}
I hope I can answer them after holidays.
\end{leftbar}
I am back from holidays now and will look through your questionaire the next days.
\end{leftbar}
\end{leftbar}

Dear Mrs. Doe,\\
\\
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut molestie placerat pharetra. In quam leo, tincidunt ut consequat eget, malesuada sit amet urna. Morbi et interdum arcu. Nullam nisi nunc, ullamcorper vitae pulvinar eu, suscipit ut augue.\\
\\
Donec risus mi, accumsan ac interdum id, molestie sed mauris. Suspendisse porttitor luctus justo in ullamcorper. Proin in neque magna. Mauris quis arcu eget enim mattis pharetra vitae a dolor. Nam aliquam consectetur mollis. Ut at sem quis dolor faucibus fringilla. Quisque cursus vehicula odio, vitae placerat ipsum dapibus id.\\
\\
Best regards\\
John Doe\\
\\
(See attached file: Questions\_Doe.doc)

\begin{verbatim}
_______________________________________________________
John Doe
Mainstr. 3
11111 New York

T:        (011) 212-4301
F:            (011) 212-954301
M:         john.doe@yahoo.com
\end{verbatim}

\begin{leftbar}
My question
\\
1. Is the world analog or digital?
\end{leftbar}
digital

\begin{leftbar}
2. How long does the world exist?
\end{leftbar}
analog since 1984, digital since 1999

\end{document}


This is what the above latex example looks like.

I also saw this similar question but I do not want to use > or colors. My settings are inspired by this French conversion and this question.

-
Though according to your user profile you live in Ubuntu (where is this, grin), you seem to understand German: E-Mails setzen (goLaTeX-Forum), and from a user Jack (is that you?): groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups=#!topic/de.comp.text.tex/… Otherwise: Take a closer look to the package ´fancyvrb´, where you can define active characters, so that you can use commands inside of verbatim text. Uses can surely be found here on TeX.SX. –  Speravir Aug 22 '12 at 18:53
jack posted on Google Groups not in the forum; and no - its not me. Anyways, I like the example of Ulrike Fischer but not better then my configuration. Further, I need to leave the mails as they are; so I cannot use features such as Spearavir wrote:. Ubuntu - is the place to be! –  JJD Aug 22 '12 at 19:26
What do you mean with “leave the mails as they are”? This is an essential information belonging into the question! But on the other hand in your MWE you altered the e-mail messages. –  Speravir Aug 22 '12 at 19:45
The emails I work on do not have > to indicate quotations. They mainly are formatted very simple. Some come with colored quotations. Nevertheless, I want to work without colors while making obvious which part is quoted and which part was written by the sender. –  JJD Aug 22 '12 at 22:09
Another essential information, that belongs into your question! Do you get HTML-formatted e-mail? Which e-mail reader do you use, and is there a way to export HTML-e-mail into usual text e-mail? Unless you’re getting HMTL-mail, I’m relatively sure, that the coloured quotation is only a special e-mail reader display style. –  Speravir Aug 22 '12 at 22:50

Your strategy is basically a good one. I suggest a few changes. To eliminate the annoying \\ that you asked about, just use a \parskip length to define skip between paragraphs. Then, the only \\ needed is when you need a linebreak within a paragraph (the only one here is in the salutation). Also, I found the leftbar environment not as easy to read (in the tex code source) as a structure. So I replaced it with the macro structure named \embed. Also, to save space on the output, I didn't have \embed automatically provide extra space upon entry, as leftbar did.

Obviously, these things are all a matter of taste. Conveying the information clearly to the reader is all that matters

\documentclass[
oneside,
openright,
titlepage,
dottedtoc,
numbers=noenddot,
footinclude=true,
cleardoublepage=empty,
abstractoff,
BCOR=5mm,
paper=a4,
fontsize=11pt,
ngerman,
american
]
{scrreprt}

\PassOptionsToPackage{utf8}{inputenc}
\usepackage{inputenc}
\usepackage{blindtext}
\usepackage[english]{babel}
\usepackage[pdfspacing]{classicthesis}

\usepackage{scalerel}
\usepackage{calc}
\global\newcounter{embedlevel}
\global\newlength\embedspace
\embedspace=2ex
\setcounter{embedlevel}{1}

\newcommand\embed[1]{%
\stepcounter{embedlevel}%
\stretchrel{\rule{0.2ex}{1ex}}{\hspace{1.8ex}\parbox{%
\textwidth-\value{embedlevel}\embedspace}{%
\rule{0ex}{2ex}#1\rule[-1.3ex]{0ex}{1.3ex}%
}}%
\vspace{.5ex}%
}

\parskip 1.5ex
\begin{document}
\selectlanguage{ngerman} % american ngerman
% Disable paragraph indentation.
\setlength{\parindent}{0pt}

\begin{verbatim}
From: john.doe@yahoo.com
Date: Thu, 3 May 2012 11:34:54 +0200
To: Jane Doe <jane.doe@hotmail.com>
\end{verbatim}

Jane Doe wrote:

\embed{%
\embed{%
\embed{%
\embed{%
There are a couple of questions I like to ask. Please forward them if
you cannot do so.
}
I hope I can answer them after holidays.
}
I am back from holidays now and will look through your questionaire the next days.
}
}

Dear Mrs. Doe,

Nullam nisi nunc, ullamcorper vitae pulvinar eu, suscipit ut augue.

Donec risus mi.  Nam aliquam consectetur mollis. Ut at sem quis dolor
faucibus fringilla. Quisque cursus vehicula odio, vitae placerat ipsum
dapibus id.

Best regards,\\
John Doe

(See attached file: Questions\_Doe.doc)

\begin{verbatim}
_______________________________________________________
John Doe
Mainstr. 3
11111 New York

T:        (011) 212-4301
F:            (011) 212-954301
M:         john.doe@yahoo.com
\end{verbatim}

\embed{%
My question

1. Is the world analog or digital?
}

digital

\embed{%
2. How long does the world exist?
}

analog since 1984, digital since 1999

\end{document}


-