I am fairly new to LaTeX and am trying to write a book. Being a newbie I plumped for \documentclass{book} because that seemed like the obvious choice but I can't get it to look like a book. I'm fairly certain the person who wrote it didn't take the time to look in a book to see what a book looks like because no book I've ever seen looks like this. I am almost at the point where I'm going to design my own document class but I would like you guys to talk me out of it. I'm fairly certain the deficiencies can be fixed, but I don't have the experience to know how to do it.

List of things it does right:

  • the basic structure with chapters starting at chapter 1 to chapter n works fine.
  • the basic formatting of paragraphs and margins on double pages is fine.
  • I can have end matter: Glossary, Notes, Appendix, Bibliography, Index.
  • I would like to have more than one index (index of place names and a general index) and this may be possible but I have not looked at this yet.
  • I can include maps and diagrams in the text, but there is a problem (see below)
  • the control sequence \maketitle makes a default title page, but it does not work well (see below)
  • the control sequence \tableofcontents makes a table of contents but it does not work well (see below)
  • page numbers do not appear on the first page of prelims/chapters (expected behaviour)
  • there are headers and footers available but they could work better (see below)

List of things it doesn't do, or doesn't do well enough:

  • \maketitle gives me only one title page but proper books have two title pages, the half-title and the title page. neither of these has the date on it, so I have to design two new title pages.
  • the title pages should function as double pages so that I can put the colophon on title-verso.
  • the headers and footers on prelims (the sections that go before chapter 1) are poorly controlled
  • headers and numbers appear on blank pages between sections. a blank page should be blank.
  • if \tableofcontents is included, headers in prelims or un-numbered chapters all say CONTENTS
  • page numbering should be in roman for prelims and then arabic from chapter 1, but the numbers should be consecutive and chapter 1 does not start at page 1.
  • I would like to have a short form of the book title and a short form of the chapter title in the header, title on verso pages and chapter on recto pages, but have been unable to discover the functionality for assigning these short forms to a command that affects the headers.

I have looked at a number of alternatives.

  • I tried creating my own title page but was unable to find a way of having whitespace at the top of the page. neither \par nor \vspace nor \\[length] work unless there is already something there. The Wiki suggested placing a small dot there, but there is (IMHO) no part of the phrase, "professional typesetting" that requires placing on pages things we hope the reader will not see.
  • I tried both fancyhdr and titleps, both of which worked up to a point but as soon as I put the \tableofcontents in my document the headers and footers in prelims went haywire.

I have not been able to find the functionality to do internal referencing. I would like to be able to refer to my maps by saying, "please see the map of the Syrian desert on page 36," or something like that, and have LaTeX provide the number of the page where the map actually is. This would require tagging the map in some way and I'm sure this is going to be possible but I have not been able to locate the command.

So, these are my questions:

  • is there some other document class I should be using? I only know standard classes so there might already be a class that does what I want so if possible I would prefer not to reinvent the wheel.
  • are there already packages that can fix the problems with the book class that I identified above?
  • is there a specific answer to my question about controlling whitespace?
  • is there a specific answer to my question about multiple indexes. is this possible, are you able to recommend a package?
  • is there a specific answer to my question about tagging my maps?
  • is there a way to find out what \tableofcontents is coded to do so that I can figure out why it messes up the headers and footers?
  • are there packages other than the two I mentioned for getting headers and footers the way I want?

If it makes any difference I am on Windows-XP using MiKTeX with TexStudio as my editor.

closed as too broad by egreg, Guido, Red, Paul Gaborit, Claudio Fiandrino Oct 28 '13 at 8:29

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 3
    Lots of these questions have been asked before; did you search this site for the answers to specific questions? I would recommend looking at either the memoir class or the suite of classes represented by KOMA-Script as they provide a lot more functionality 'out of the box' including things related to headers, footers, title pages, and so forth. 'Tagging' is related to using \label and \ref and/or \pageref; there's lots of great packages that exend the basic funcationlity. Put a \null in front of your \vspace if needed (not sure what the goal is here...). imakeidx for indices. – jon Oct 28 '13 at 4:57
  • ... Images ('maps') usually have a \caption and a \label, and are referenced by \ref. \tableofcontents isn't messing up your headers and footers per se: there are complex mechanisms at work on both the ToC- and header side that you'll learn about in due course. fancyhdr is a decent header/footer package. I often use memoir, however, and use its built-in facilities. Finally, if you are just starting out, I doubt you really want to 'design your own class'; it is an admirable goal, but it might be too early in the game for you to tackle so complex a task. – jon Oct 28 '13 at 5:00
  • 1
    Yes, this can be done, but it's a lot of work, much of which, as jon noted, has been done in newer documentclasses such as `memoir'. – WillAdams Oct 28 '13 at 5:17
  • Space on top of page: tex.stackexchange.com/questions/33370/… Multiple indexes: tex.stackexchange.com/questions/472/… – Torbjørn T. Oct 28 '13 at 7:16