# How to manually typeset text in parallel on facing pages in (Lua)LaTeX?

I want to typeset a bilingual text in parallel on facing pages using LuaLaTeX. The existing solutions to automate this task have proven unsatisfactory as they don't allow for footnotes (parallel), don't allow for different font sizes of the two parallel texts (eledpar), or generally provide a poor result of aligned text chunks (eledpar).

As the text is not too long, I really came to consider breaking the pages myself. For this to do, I have to solve the following problem(s):

Consider two facing pages with ending paragraphs of different length. The following paragraphs should then begin at the same vertical position such that the beginnings of these following paragraphs face each other. For this to accomplish on has

1. to determine the position of the end of the longer paragraph on its page
2. to have the means to let the next parallel paragraphs both begin at the identified position.

Is this something which is doable? Are there mechanisms provided by (Lua)LaTeX to determine positions on a page and to begin typesetting at a specific position on a page?

EDIT: The following example illustrates the task. Here the latin paragraph starting with "O tempora, o mores" (third chunk of text in the code) should begin at the facing position of the beginning of the paragraph "Shame on the age..." (fifth chunk).

\documentclass[a6paper]{scrbook}
\usepackage{fontspec}
\usepackage[latin,english]{babel}
\begin{document}
\mbox{}\pagebreak

\noindent\selectlanguage{latin}{\large quo usque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientia
nostra? quam diu etiam furor iste tuus nos eludet? quem ad finem sese effrenata
iactabit audacia? nihilne te nocturnum praesidium Palati, nihil urbis vigiliae,
nihil timor populi, nihil concursus bonorum omnium, nihil hic munitissimus
habendi senatus locus, nihil horum ora voltusque moverunt? patere tua consilia
non sentis, constrictam iam horum omnium scientia teneri coniurationem tuam non
vides? quid proxima, quid superiore nocte egeris, ubi fueris, quos convocaveris,
quid consili ceperis quem nostrum ignorare arbitraris?\par\newpage}

\noindent\selectlanguage{english}When, O Catiline, do you mean to cease
abusing our patience? How long is that madness of yours still to mock us? When
is there to be an end of that unbridled audacity of yours, swaggering about as
it does now?  Do not the nightly guards placed on the Palatine Hill — do not the
watches posted throughout the city — does not the alarm of the people, and the
union of all good men — does not the precaution taken of assembling the senate
in this most defensible place — do not the looks and countenances of this
venerable body here present, have any effect upon you? Do you not feel that your
plans are detected? Do you not see that your conspiracy is already arrested and
rendered powerless by the knowledge which every one here possesses of it? What
is there that you did last night, what the night before — where is it that you
were — who was there that you summoned to meet you — what design was there which

\noindent\selectlanguage{latin}{\large O tempora, o mores!\par\newpage}

\noindent\selectlanguage{english}which you think that any one of us is
unacquainted?

Shame on the age and on its principles!
\end{document}


• Did you try the eledmac/eledpar packages? Apr 25, 2015 at 21:11
• @Bernard: yes, but when using eledpar it's impossible to use different font sizes for the two texts. Apr 25, 2015 at 21:40
• Here is a related (albeit column rather than page) approach. I never tried doing footnotes though. tex.stackexchange.com/questions/195155/… Apr 25, 2015 at 22:48
• Have you tried parcolumns? Apr 26, 2015 at 3:43
• @dgoodmaniii: parcolumns addresses parallel text in columns. I need to typeset parallel text on facing pages. Apr 26, 2015 at 10:53

I know this is an old question which hasn't seen any activity in quite a while. This topic is close to my heart as I've used many Latin texts during my studies at university.

As a philosopher and historian I've often used translations of ancient texts and I always wondered how to typeset them. I can only imagine the nightmare this task must be, if one were to use a regular word processor.

Since I am sure that this is a topic/problem many in the classical studies part of the humanities are faced with, I would like to give a minimal example illustrating the wonderful possibilities of the reledmac and reledpar package.

\documentclass[a6paper,11pt]{scrbook}

\usepackage{libertine}
\usepackage{fontspec}
\usepackage[latin,english]{babel}

\usepackage[series={},nocritical,noend,noeledsec,nofamiliar,noledgroup]{reledmac}
\usepackage{reledpar}

\begin{document}

\date{\today}
\title{Setting Parallel Texts with reledpar}
\author{A. U. Thor}
\maketitle

\begin{pages}
\begin{Leftside}
\beginnumbering
\pstart
\begin{otherlanguage}{latin}
quo usque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientia
nostra? quam diu etiam furor iste tuus nos eludet? quem ad finem sese effrenata
iactabit audacia? nihilne te nocturnum praesidium Palati\footnote{The Palatine Hill,
(/ˈpælətaɪn/; Latin: Collis Palatium or Mons Palatinus; Italian: Palatino [palaˈtiːno])
which is the centremost of the Seven Hills of Rome, is one of the most ancient
parts of the city and has been called “the first nucleus of the Roman Empire.”},
nihil urbis vigiliae, nihil timor populi, nihil concursus bonorum omnium,
nihil hic munitissimus habendi senatus locus, nihil horum ora voltusque moverunt?
patere tua consilia non sentis, constrictam iam horum omnium scientia teneri
coniurationem tuam non vides? quid proxima, quid superiore nocte egeris,
ubi fueris, quos convocaveris, quid consili ceperis quem nostrum ignorare arbitraris?
\end{otherlanguage}
\pend
\pstart
\begin{otherlanguage}{latin}
O tempora, o mores!
\end{otherlanguage}
\pend
\endnumbering
\end{Leftside}
\begin{Rightside}
\beginnumbering
\pstart
When, O Catiline, do you mean to cease
abusing our patience? How long is that madness of yours still to mock us? When
is there to be an end of that unbridled audacity of yours, swaggering about as
it does now?  Do not the nightly guards placed on the Palatine Hill — do not the
watches posted throughout the city — does not the alarm of the people, and the
union of all good men — does not the precaution taken of assembling the senate
in this most defensible place — do not the looks and countenances of this
venerable body here present, have any effect upon you? Do you not feel that your
plans are detected? Do you not see that your conspiracy is already arrested and
rendered powerless by the knowledge which every one here possesses of it? What
is there that you did last night, what the night before — where is it that you
were — who was there that you summoned to meet you — what design was there which
was adopted by you, with which you think that any one of us is unacquainted?
\pend
\pstart
Shame on the age and on its principles!
\pend
\endnumbering
\end{Rightside}

\end{pages}
\Pages

\end{document}


This is what you get:

• proper alignment of paragraphs
• footnotes
• different font sizes are no problem

And this is what it looks like:

• It's great to see such cool solution! Thank you for posting this! Aug 6, 2020 at 18:51