I'm the maintainer of the ledmac package (for critical editions).

I would like to have the possibility to start all the lines with hanging indentation with some chosen character, like this (where this character would be [):

A very long, very long, very long,very long,
   [very long, very long, very long line
   [A hanged line
   [Another hanged line
A very long, very long, very long,very long,
   [very long, very long,very long line
  • 3
    What do you mean by "make a [character]"? Would you be able to provide a visual of what you're after?
    – Werner
    Commented Sep 10, 2011 at 6:25
  • Welcome Maieul! Nice to see you here! Since you're here now, I added your profile to meta.tex.stackexchange.com/questions/1181/… :-)
    – raphink
    Commented Sep 10, 2011 at 6:43
  • 1
    Welcone Maieul! I too am a bit confused -- are you looking to start some lines with a raised or dropped enlarged letter?
    – Mico
    Commented Sep 10, 2011 at 9:47
  • thank everybody ! I would like that some lines, whose are hanged, start with a caractère, like [. See an exemple of what I would like : partage.maieul.net/hanged.pdf
    – Maïeul
    Commented Sep 10, 2011 at 19:57

2 Answers 2


I implemented something similar in the gmdoc-enhance package to have leading % signs on each comment line. It makes the space character active and expand in principle to \discretionary{}{\gmde@kommentarStart}{}~, where \gmde@kommentarStart puts a \hbox with the contents I want to show.

The problem here is that \gmde@kommentarStart will be evaluated for every space, not only for those that create a line break - but only for those the box will actually occur in the output. And also, I have to make sure that no other line breaks occur, which destroys most of TeX's line breaking algorithm (i.e. I essentially need \raggedright and no word-breaking). This is acceptable for my use case, but might not be for your one.


So, I find an other solution to integrate it on the ledmac / ledpar package. As the package use hbox, a made a code we everyhbox and some counters.

  • 5
    Would you like to expand a bit your answer telling also the general scheme of the solution?
    – egreg
    Commented Oct 1, 2011 at 22:43
  • that was not a good solution. I use an other mechanism more deeply in the eledmac package. I think we could delete this question and answer.
    – Maïeul
    Commented Mar 4, 2015 at 17:48

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