Is there any package to automatically typeset scholia with latex? The result I have in mind should be something akin to what can be seen here:


the main text limited to a rectangular portion of the page, and the commentary flowing around it.

A similar question is perhaps in Notes overflowing from marginpar to footer and I suppose that it might be possible to adjusted what is done there to obtain the result I am interested in.

In any case, the package I am looking for (if it exists) would have to take care of page breaks for both the text and the scholia at the same time. Is this possible?

I must add that I can get a somehow working solution, but it is neither elegant nor very satisfactory and also it does not get the same effect as on the page presented here. If the text in all of the pages has the same size, then this involves compiling two separate documents (with pages of the appropriate size and shape) and carefully merging the output with pdfpages in a third document. Clearly, this does not keep automatically track of the parallel passages (but it can be improved) and it requires at least 3 compilation runs. The main question was whether anybody had been working on something similar (and done a better job). There is a technical issue, also: whether it might be possible to do (or, better, whether it has been done by somebody before) a continuation-passing style programming in (lua)latex.

For lua side, this is trivial with coroutines (and actually useful if I want some feedback from the tex engine), but ultimately of little use for what I have in mind. What I had actually been thinking about was how to have two parallel execution contexts for latex and switch between them (when needed) by hooking \shipout. This I do not know whether it is doable or not (I am afraid not, but this is why I am asking).

  • The 'tufte-book' document class might get you started… It depends on your setup. Is the commentary linked to your text (essentially lots of footnotes that you want to put on the margin) or do you have two separate texts? In the latter case, it might better to start from one of the bi-lingual solutions. Maybe start from here: tex.stackexchange.com/questions/312252/…
    – Huang_d
    Jun 12, 2017 at 16:05
  • Is it correct that the commentary (scholia) on every page is about what is on the page? That is, no commentary overflows onto the next page, and instead the page should be made small enough so that all its commentary fits? Also, at what level is the association between the text and the commentary: what are the "units" that have associated commentary? Can you provide some sample text for which you want this? Finally, can you clarify what you have tried / why does the linked question not work for your case (as it seems very similar)? Jun 13, 2017 at 12:47
  • This is how I understand the requirement: there exist a set of "units" (lines, pairs of lines, paragraphs?), each with an associated commentary. The goal is to keep each "unit" and all its commentary on the same page (the "units" in a rectangular "main text" area, and the commentary around it). For this, we may need to have fewer or more units per page, so that everything fits: this is the task of choosing page breaks. Is that accurate? Jun 13, 2017 at 15:17

1 Answer 1


Typeset of scholarly editions is done with the package reledmac (which has nothing to do with the computer called »mac«). You get the package manual with the command texdoc reledmac on the command line, if you have a working LaTeX installation. Please also have a look at the reledpar package for typesetting of critical editions.

The manual makes some remarks about sidenotes, see section 12. But I don't think, that a layout of side- and footnotes floating seamlessly around the textbox is possible, at least probably not in the way your picture shows and you are asking (»breaks of text and scholia at the same time«): There foot- or sidenotes cross the end of a page, see the last line on the left page of your picture, going on in the right margin of the right page. As far as I can see in the example you refer to, any foot- or sidenote has to end on the same page where it starts (correct me if I'm wrong).

The tufte-book layout won't help you much, because its sidenotes can not cross a pagebreak. I once suggested a similiar layout with some advance KOMA-script features, see here: Tufte alike design with sidenotes crossing pagebreaks, or: Tufte made with KOMAscript .

  • Have you seen the linked question? Jun 13, 2017 at 12:17
  • @ShreevatsaR Yes, I edited my answer, thank you, I did not say that clearly. The problem, as far as I understand the question, is how to allow the notes to cross a pagebreak.
    – Keks Dose
    Jun 13, 2017 at 12:28
  • -1 Sorry, I appreciate the answer but I think this does not answer the question. The "look at reledmac" is just a comment, and "I don't think this is possible" is not enough of an answer IMO to take this question off the unanswered questions list. We should wait for more time to see if anyone really has ideas, before declaring it impossible. Jun 13, 2017 at 12:38
  • By the way, it's not clear when you say "the example you refer to" whether you mean the other question, or the picture. Also, in the picture in the question, the last line on the left page ends (see the whitespace), and what starts on the right page is a new commentary. Jun 13, 2017 at 12:41
  • @ShreevatsaR Well, the OP doesn't provide any code. I won't start writing code for a question, as long as the OP hasn't started, there have been discussions on Meta, see here: tex.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/7271/…. But of course feel free to downvote my answers and to regret the downvote at the same time :-)
    – Keks Dose
    Jun 13, 2017 at 12:43

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