# line breaks when using ldots

I have a line in my novel which is not breaking in what I would think to be natural places. It appears to be due to my use of ldots:

It was fine.'' she said, defensively. Just\ldots more and more\ldots   sporadic.'' She laughed self-conciously


The document class is memoir and I would expect the line to break naturally between \ldots and the following word but latex (pdflatex) appears reluctant to break at that point. It results in a very long overfull hbox (36pt too wide)

• Can you provide a sample of the code set-up with this line included? I ran the line in a general case and the line breaks after ".. sporadic" and starts the new line with "she.." if the line starts a paragraph. – Leucippus Apr 15 '15 at 21:24
• This has nothing to do with memoir – daleif Apr 16 '15 at 11:33
• sorry to take so long to get back. @Leucippus, you are correct, the line breakes after the speech marks but with my set up this creates a very overfull hbox. – susie Apr 21 '15 at 11:34

There is no feasible line break point after \ldots

You can define your own version of dots with possible line break with

\newcommand{\bdots}{\textellipsis\linebreak[0]}


Example:

\documentclass{memoir}

\newcommand{\bdots}{\textellipsis\linebreak[0]}

\begin{document}

It was fine.'' she said, defensively.
Just\bdots more\bdots and\bdots more\bdots sporadic.'' She
laughed\bdots self-consciously
It was fine.'' she said, defensively.
Just\bdots more\bdots and\bdots more\bdots sporadic.'' She
laughed\bdots self-consciously
It was fine.'' she said, defensively.
Just\bdots more\bdots and\bdots more\bdots sporadic.'' She
laughed\bdots self-consciously
It was fine.'' she said, defensively.
Just\bdots more\bdots and\bdots more\bdots sporadic.'' She
laughed\bdots self-consciously
It was fine.'' she said, defensively.

\end{document}


Disregard the two overfull boxes, the point was to show the line breaks after the dots.

I believe the \ldots command is eating the following space. You can replace your \ldots with \ldots{}.

sample\ldots{} text

• I'll bear this in mind. I'm surprised that ldots does not already allow a line break immediately afterwards... must be one of those typesetting traditions! – susie Apr 21 '15 at 11:36
• It's not a typesetting tradition. It's the way Tex and LaTeX handle spaces after a macro. It's not particular to the ldots command. Enclosing the \ldots in brackets would also work - like this... sample{\ldots} text – James Apr 21 '15 at 17:54
• @susie I think actually this is the more normal setting, it differs from egreg's answer (and the code in your question) in that it has a word space after the dots in the case that the line does not break at that point (+1) – David Carlisle Apr 21 '15 at 20:34
• more useful information! I've a lot to learn about LaTeX. – susie Apr 27 '15 at 19:00