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I'm starting to write a bigger assignment (Danish, college-level: 25pages).

My requirements:

  1. Internationalisation: it is in Danish
  2. The manuscript will need citations, references and a bibliography.

As it's a bigger paper and not just a simple assignment, I thought I'd use memoir as the documentclass.
I've heard good stuff of biblatex and would like to use it. I guess I could use this script to help me with biber.
Xe(La)TeX sounds great with it's support of unicode, but honestly I'm not sure if I should be using it or just sticking with TeXShops Western-encoding or if perhaps LuaTeX would be better.
I'd have to use either polyglossia or babel to get Danish support in the bibliography, but I guess I need csquotes too so I can control the quotations-style. (Or if I'm not wrong, it's already included in memoir?)

Then again, maybe I can keep things simple and go with memoir and the simple stuff like BibTeX?

For this kind of problem, as a beginner, how do I choose which Tex engine and Latex classes to use?

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Your question might be too wide to get a good answer. Since you speak Danish you might take a look at the manual by Lars Madsen (you will find a link here), he has some suggestions on "larger" projects (and is the maintainer of the memoir class). In general I think that it is better to have a simpler preamble that you understand, than larger that you have copy-pasted from somewhere. – Jesper Ipsen Dec 10 '12 at 13:44
I voted to close because your question is overly broad IMO. Please search this site for the most upvoted questions about xetex (which isn't essential for Danish texts) as well as biblatex and csquotes (which I both recommend). To answer your question about the latter: No, csquotes is not included in memoir. – lockstep Dec 10 '12 at 13:57
@Ipsen IMO stands for "In my opinion". – lockstep Dec 10 '12 at 14:08
I've edited this so it is more focussed and asks for something of more general use - otherwise I think it would be closed and we don't have a "how do I choose" qn along these lines already. – Charles Stewart Dec 10 '12 at 14:30
For Danish standard LaTeX is perfectly adequate. \usepackage[utf8]{inputenc} will enable you to input Danish characters via unicode. Using biblatex will enable you to use these characters in the bibliography file. See tex.stackexchange.com/q/13509/15925 for an introduction. – Andrew Swann Dec 10 '12 at 14:34

If the question is taken to be 'how can I set up memoir with biber+biblatex for a basic Danish document using an unicode-aware engine?' (I suspect some will vote to close this), then the answer can be pretty straightforward. (If it prompts further, new questions, that might not be a bad thing either.)

Anyway, here is one example that uses luatex:

\documentclass[article, % similar to article class: no \chapter

\usepackage{lipsum}% for filler text

% LuaTex / fonts
\pdfprotrudechars=2 % optional
\pdfadjustspacing=2 % optional
\newfontfeature{Microtype}{protrusion=default;expansion=default;}% optional
\setmainfont[Microtype, Numbers=OldStyle]{Linux Libertine}%
\setsansfont[Microtype, Scale=MatchLowercase, Numbers=OldStyle]{Linux Biolinum}%
\setmonofont[Microtype, Scale=MatchLowercase]{Inconsolata}%

% babel / csquotes / biblatex
\usepackage[strict=true, autostyle=once, 
  % danish=guillemets,
\usepackage[backend=biber, style=numeric]{biblatex}% see documentation for options
\addbibresource{mybiblio.bib}% your bibliography file

% headers and footers (from memoir)
% cmd:       {<name>}{<left>}{<centre>}{<right>}
\pagestyle{basic} % call main headers into effect




As you write, you'll probably find you'll want to change or add things to your document (e.g., style of \section-related commands), but this should be enough to get started.

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