I've noticed that OPmac is using the \pageno counter to output the \footline instead of Knuth's use of \folio (which itself uses \pageno) as in standard plainTeX.

\folio of course conveniently outputs lowercase roman numerals when it is expanded and \pageno is negative--something which is useful for a document's "front matter".

It is certainly easy enough to modify OPmac's \footline from




or some other custom footer, by what would be the possible advantage in changing plainTeX's default behavior?

1 Answer 1


Thank for this idea. My intent was following: user probably change \footline register very often to fit it to design requirement of the document. May be he/she doesn't need exactly 10pt size of the font here, may be he/she needs to write something similar to this:

 \footline={\tenrm\thefontsize[10.5]\ifodd\pageno \hfill \fi \folio \hfil}

etc. This was a reason why I didn't consider the \footline default value as so important. The only thing what I did want to say is: the font size changing is very simple in the document (unlike in plain TeX), so there is needful to set the fontsize in \headline/\footline explicitly.

On the other hand your idea is contributive, the plain TeX \ouptut routine (which cooperates with \folio) is preserved, of course. I'll change the default \footline to use \folio.

There is second reason why I didn't use \folio. There is only one page sequence (starting from 1) commonly used in books in traditional Czech typography. Indeed, I used \folio in very rare cases in my long-time practice...

Edit: I followed the comments here about \folio problem in page lists in the Index and in the TOC and I upgraded the new version of OPmac Jul.2014c which solves this. I don't add new features of OPmac in common but I accepted that \folio is inherent in plain TeX thus OPmac have to support it. The internal macros \Xindex (for the Index) and \pglink (for \pgref and TOC) were slightly changed. The actual version is available on the OPmac page. The csplain (which includes OPmac) will be upgraded later on.

  • Thanks for the anwer. It is sometimes surprising to me that conventions we take for granted (i.e. front matter numbered with lowercase roman numerals) do not always apply to other languages/cultures. Also, I really like the conveniences OPmac provides with fonts!
    – acarlow
    Commented Jun 19, 2014 at 14:17
  • Unfortunately, I end up with negative numbers in the index now. I thought I could just modify \iindex but i was unsuccessful (i got errors). Is there another solution?
    – acarlow
    Commented Jun 21, 2014 at 5:41
  • @acarlow I suspected this new problem... Please, give me a time. It seems to be not so simple.
    – wipet
    Commented Jun 21, 2014 at 6:34
  • Yes, I suspected it was more than a simple fix. Also, you probably also noticed that the TOC is affected as well.
    – acarlow
    Commented Jun 21, 2014 at 18:59
  • @acarlow See my last edit in my post. I hope that the problem with Index and TOC is solved.
    – wipet
    Commented Jun 22, 2014 at 17:21

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