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Bibles are often printed with chapter numbers formatted much like the dropped capitals produced by the lettrine package. So that package can be used to insert chapter numbers. This works well when the start of the chapter coincides with the start of a new paragraph.

But sometimes some of the chapter breaks occur within a paragraph, in which case the chapter number should still be printed, with the paragraph text wrapping around it. I lack a great solution for this. I made an attempt with wrapfig, but I had a number of problems. I'm still having the best luck with lettrine, but I have to manually place my chapter command where the linebreak should be. (And I actually have to put in a \linebreak to force justification of the previous line, and then a \vspace to eliminate the unwanted extra line.

Is there a way I can place a \mychapter{} call at the start of the actual chapter ("From inside ...") and have the paragraph wrap around the chapter number?

Perhaps I should ask if there is any fundamental obstacle to what I want. It would require modifying the line above the insertion point in many cases. Is that possible, or has that ship sailed by the time Tex gets to the macro (if placed where I want it placed)?

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{lettrine}
\newcommand\mychapter[1]{\lettrine[nindent=0pt,findent=1em]{#1}{}}

\begin{document}
\dots\ At this the men greatly feared the Lord, and they
offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows to him.

Now the Lord provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in%
\linebreak\vspace{-\baselineskip}% force line above to justify
\mychapter{2}%
the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
% Chapter 2 actually starts here, would like to put \mychapter{} call here
From inside the
fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God.  He said: \dots
\end{document}
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  • You want a chapter break in the middle of a paragraph? Interesting! Oct 11, 2019 at 2:43
  • Yeah, well Stephen Langton set the chapter numbers in the 13th century, and modern scholars don't always agree with his choices! (In this particular case, some medieval scholars also disagreed.)
    – dedded
    Oct 11, 2019 at 2:54
  • See also lettrine package. Feb 2 at 5:14

1 Answer 1

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Letterine uses \hangindent, which can only be used at the start of a paragraph. The trick is to make \par act like \linebreak.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{lettrine}
\newcommand\mychapter[1]{\lettrine[nindent=0pt,findent=1em]{#1}{}}
\newcommand{\nopar}{\strut{\parfillskip=0pt\parskip=0pt\par}}

\begin{document}
\dots\ At this the men greatly feared the Lord, and they
offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows to him.

Now the Lord provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in\nopar
\mychapter{2}%
the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
% Chapter 2 actually starts here, would like to put \mychapter{} call here
From inside the
fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God.  He said: \dots
\end{document}
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  • I just found that the \strut in \nopar seems to be the cause of a little surplus vertical space. Using \null instead seems to correct that.
    – dedded
    Nov 5, 2019 at 4:24
  • The \strut was just habit, since I usually use \nopar in minipages. Nov 5, 2019 at 16:11

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