# Packages for writing Letter

I am looking for packages to write letters. The packages should be able to understand the German DIN1338{a,b} letter format.

What are common packages which are still maintained?

I meant DIN 5008 Din 5008, Changes to DIN 676

However dinbrief is quite old, and I am unable to do line numbering or AFAIR tables. That is the reason why I ask for alternatives.

• Take a look at the KOMA letter class. – Daniel Jan 23 '14 at 20:52
• BTW: DIN 1338 specifies mathematical typesetting ("Formelsatz"),so you probably mean DIN 676a and 676b, respectively. – Daniel Jan 23 '14 at 21:02
• The article class works for letters as well. – Werner Jan 23 '14 at 21:08
• Perhaps you are interested in the answers to this question. – Thorsten Donig Jan 23 '14 at 21:16
• In which way is there much to learn for the use of »KOMA-Script« in comparison to other approaches? – Thorsten Donig Jan 23 '14 at 21:20

I usally use the dinbrief document class. I don't know if it is still maintained, but the last update is from 2000. It does, however, what I need. I haven't used scrlttr2 yet so I cannot compare them.

% !TEX TS-program = xelatex
\documentclass[a4paper,12pt]{dinbrief}
\usepackage[german]{babel}

\usepackage{blindtext}

\usepackage{fontspec}

\def\briefkopf{\raggedleft{Karl Putt\\ Bahnhofstr. 3\\ 01010 Irgendwo}}

\begin{document}
\subject{Benötigte Unterlagen}
\backaddress{Karl Putt, Bahnhofstr. 3, 01010 Irgendwo}
\nowindowrules
\signature{Karl Putt}
\Datum{\today}

\begin{letter}{Max Mustermann \\ %
Institut für Muster \\ %
Parkstr. 8 \\ \\ 10115 Berlin
}
\opening{Sehr geehrter Herr Mustermann,}
\blindtext[1]

\closing{Mit freundlichen Grüßen}

\end{letter}

\end{document}


• I think mixing babel and xelatex is not a great idea. There is polyglossia out there. – Manuel Jan 23 '14 at 22:51
• @Manuel: Why should that be a bad idea? The »babel« package is prepared for XeTeX and LuaTeX and will be improved in this regard. → See: polyglossia vs babel – Thorsten Donig Jan 25 '14 at 9:45
• @ThorstenDonig Many answers like this usually recommend using polyglossia instead. I thought that babel was incompatible with xelatex, but as you point out, it's not. Sorry. – Manuel Jan 25 '14 at 10:24

The KOMA-Script letter class scrlttr2 is very customizable and provides support for DIN 676/5008 out of the box (p. 195):

DIN parameter set for letters on A4-size paper, complying with German standard DIN 676; suitable for window envelopes in the sizes C4, C5, C6, and C6/5 (C6 long).

DINmtext parameter set for letters on A4-size paper, complying with DIN 676, but using an alternate layout with more text on the first page; only suitable for window envelopes in the sizes C6 and C6/5 (C6 long).

(Even though DIN 676 has been superseded by DIN 5008 in 2011, the regulations for the layout of business letters have almost kept the same, only one dimension has been relaxed a bit. Hence, the DIN 676 layout adheres to DIN 5008.)

Parameter sets are simply passed as options to the class. The following shows a minimalistic letter:

\documentclass[version=last,DIN]{scrlttr2}
\usepackage[english]{babel}
\begin{document}
\begin{letter}{%
Joana Public\\
Hillside 1\\
12345 Public-City%
}
\opening{Dear chairman,}
the last general meeting was about one year ago.
I want to remind you, that the constitution of our club advises you to make a general meeting every six month.
Because of this I expect the executive board to detain such a meeting immediately.
\closing{Expecting an invitation}
\end{letter}
\end{document}


In fact, the DIN settings are even loaded as a default, so it is not necessary to pass them explicitly. For further customizations, please take a look into the Manual, which is available in German and English.

Only available in German is the extended manual as a printed book, which is supposed to provide specifically more customization examples for the letter class.

• Instead of page number (differs very likely from language to language) give better the chapter numbers (more stable) in documentation and the KOMA-Script version, where it is valid. So, chapters 4 and 21 in version 3.12. – Speravir Jan 24 '14 at 2:19