I want to create a book with poetry in two columns, side-by-side, in different languages. After some googling, I chose the ledmac and ledpar packages. But then I found myself doing hacks, and I wonder if there is a better way.

In particular, I need the following:

  1. Aligned stanzas (in other words, starting lines of stanzas with the same numbers from both columns are at the same height). astanza environment does that.

  2. Numbered stanzas (only for the left column). I am using the macro from ledpar documentation:

        \hskip -#1\llap{\textbf{#2}}\hskip #1
        % Use: \stanzanum{<dimen: whitespace after # of stanza>}{<text: # of stanza>}

  1. No line numbers. I set \firstlinenum{999} in the beginning of the document.

  2. Footnotes for stanzas. Something like:


    And this is supposed to create a footnote with the number of the stanza. This can be done by creating the counter for stanza number and the macro with this number and \footnotetext.

So, are there any packages that can do it already? Or did I miss something in documentation? Maybe ledmac and ledpar were not the best choice? I find it suspicious that I am writing macros for things that seem to be common tasks.

Thank you in advance. Sorry if the question is stupid.

1 Answer 1


Not a stupid question at all.

Right now, I can think of something else slightly hacky: Using the longtable package, create a longtable with, say, three columns—one for the stanza counter, one for the first language, and one for the second. longtable supports regular footnotes. Each stanza (or line if you want pagebreaks in the middle of stanzas) could be a table row. You'd probably have to write some advance-stanza-counter macro but that should be pretty easy.

  • 1
    Yes, I am actually using this approach now. I played a little with macros and ledpar, but could not make all footnotes reside on the pages where they were referenced (even after playing with different weight coefficients), so I gave up and started using tables for stanzas and common text blocks for footnotes (I have lots of footnotes). This is actually a good thing, because ledmac conflicts with microtype package, and I would like to use it too.
    – fjarri
    Oct 22, 2010 at 1:26
  • @Bogdan: does ledmac/ledpar still conflict with microtype? in the microtype documentation it says that since a ledmac update in 2005, protrusion has been possible. Is it that only protrusion is possible, while the other features aren't? Or does ledmac fully cooperate with microtype? Mar 4, 2012 at 17:28
  • I wrote to the author of microtype, which said to me that eledmac/eledpar was compatible, but there is a little bug in microtype. I wrote to me in August 2012, and was hoping to correct this bug in next week. I don't know if he do it...
    – Maïeul
    Apr 28, 2013 at 15:40

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