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I frequently have a large number of documents to assemble for "topical readings". Those are just a bunch of documents I attach with pdfpages and scale to a reasonable size. You might call them attachments or exhibits, or excerpts, or articles, or offprints, or whatever you like. I like them to look like an actual book.

\chapter is almost perfect for this, except:

  1. The word "Chapter" showing up all over the place.
  2. Stock \chapter does not offer the extra blank page.
  3. The Chapter number should be optional to display, or could be alphabetical, or shown in other ways (Roman numeral, etc.. )
  4. \chapter offers [toc name], as well as the name of the chapter, but I find I often need another version. One for TOC, one for Chapter Name (the words showing on the page), and one for the header which might be substantially abbreviated.

Here is what I am doing to "introduce" each topical reading "item" (a pdf by way of pdfpages).

A depiction of what I intend. The trailing blank page is very helpful to direct the eyes. Since there is no way of knowing in advance what the first page of the exhibit will look like, it helps (based on actually creating and looking at many of these) the appearance of the entire thing to begin the exhibit with a blank even page. It makes it look like something produced to be read, rather than just a big stack of papers.

The title page and Table of Contents also create the look. The header lines help greatly with references, so I don't have to provide long bibliographic citations in other places. I can just say "Topical Readings On Foo: page 5".

So \chapter[toc name][Exhibit name] (or \exhibit[toc name]{Exhibit Name}) should product "Exhibit Name" as chapter name [with headspace, halfway down the page], optionally with the number, (in a variety of ways), and then add a following blank page, so that each attachment page can be started with the header (Which should be the short (TOC) "chapter" name or the regular chapter name).

[Also note, I still use Table of Contents!]

I have scabbed some code together that works, but it is hackish, and a continual fight to produce and maintain the 2nd blank page.

I am hoping someone with a deeper understanding of "\chapter" and the underlying document classes can help to create some latex which is safe and robust and play safely with other packages. I want to maintain continuity for \leftmark and \rightmark in the header. Also, this code does not work with fncychap, which I was previously using to create the headspace on the chapter page.

TopicalReadings.sty

\ProvidesPackage{TopicalReadings}[2020/04/16 - A standard package for attached reading material.]
\NeedsTeXFormat{LaTeX2e}
\usepackage[margin=0.5in,top=.75in,bottom=.8in]{geometry}
\RequirePackage{pdfpages}
\RequirePackage{fancyhdr}
\pagestyle{fancy}
\fancypagestyle{MyStyle}{%
    \fancyhead{} 
    \fancyhead[LO]{}
\fancyhead[CO]{\leftmark}
\fancyhead[RO]{\thepage}
\fancyhead[LE]{\thepage}
\fancyhead[CE]{ TOPICAL READINGS ON \MakeUppercase\mytopic}
\fancyhead[RE]{}
\fancyfoot[C]{}

\renewcommand{\chaptermark}[1]{\markboth{\thechapter. {\slshape{##1}}}{}}
}

\usepackage{emptypage}
\usepackage{afterpage}

\newcommand\blankpage{%
    \null
    \thispagestyle{empty}%
    \addtocounter{page}{-1}%
    \newpage}

\addtokomafont{disposition}{\rmfamily}

\def\mytopic{}
\newcommand\SetTopic[1]{%
    \def\mytopic{#1}}

Implementation

\documentclass[twoside]{scrbook}
\usepackage{TopicalReadings}
\SetTopic{Some Stuff I Want You To Read About}
\title{Topical Readings On \\ Things You Should Know}
\author{Topical Readings Guy}
\begin{document}
\maketitle
\tableofcontents
\pagestyle{MyStyle}
\chapter{The First Thing}
\clearpage
\blankpage
\includepdf[
    scale=.9,
    pages=-,
    clip=true,
    offset=-5mm 0,
    pagecommand={\thispagestyle{fancy}}]
    {FirstThing.pdf}

\chapter[Second Thing]{A Super Important Second Thing - Excerpt}
A Textual description of that second thing. 
\clearpage
\blankpage
\includepdf[scale=.8,pages=-,clip=true,pagecommand={\thispagestyle{fancy}}]{SecondThing.pdf}


\end{document}

Okay, now somebody will say, "What is your question"?

  • How to extend or modify \chapter to consistently produce a following blank page.
  • How to force \chapter display halfway down page without any other packages.
  • How to control display of Chapter number in the chapter page and toc.
  • How to provide a second argument to \chapter since the TOC, Page, and Header display needs are often different.

  • Optionally alias \exhibit for \chapter.

I can't overstate how incredibly useful these "Topical Readings" are for us. They are the busy person's way to assemble what amounts to a book in a very short period of time. I am sure they will also be useful to a lot of other people, which is why I hoping to get the correct input to assemble a public package.

So everyone can do something simple like...

\usepackage[alpha]{ChapterAsExhibit} 
\title{Topical Readings on Foo}

\begin{document}
\tableofcontents
\exhibit[A Brief History of Foo]{Excerpt from the International Journal of Foo, January 25th, 1890}
As you read this excerpt, consider your deepest feelings about foo.
\includepdf{JournalOfFoo}
\exhibit[How I learned To Hate Bar][How I learned...]{How I learned to Hate Bar, and Began to start loving Foo, Davis, 1976, pp 121-132}
\includepdf{LoveOfFoo}
\end{document}

1

I am not sure, if I understand what you want to do. Seems that exhibit should use style=part but on the same level als chapter.

Never change the page counter manually. Your \addtocounter{page}{-1} in a twosided document results in a chaos of even and odd pages.

With a KOMA-Script class you do not need package emptypage. It is not recommended to use fancyhdr with a KOMA-Script class. Use scrlayer-scrpage instead.

Your requirements are very special - please do not try to provide a public package.

\documentclass[numbers=enddot,headings=optiontoheadandtoc]{scrbook}
\usepackage[margin=0.5in,top=.75in,bottom=.8in]{geometry}
\usepackage{pdfpages}

\usepackage[headsepline]{scrlayer-scrpage}
\automark{chapter}
\clearmainofpairofpagestyles
\ohead{\pagemark}
\cehead{\normalfont \MakeUppercase{Topical readings \mytopic}}
\cohead{\leftmark}
\newcommand*{\mytopic}{}
\newcommand*{\SetTopic}[1]{\def\mytopic{#1}}
\addtokomafont{pagehead}{\slshape}

\addtokomafont{disposition}{\rmfamily}

\DeclareNewSectionCommand[
  style=part,
  level=\chapternumdepth,
  toclevel=\chaptertocdepth,
  tocindent=0pt,
  tocnumwidth=1.5em
]{exhibit}
\renewcommand*{\exhibitformat}{\exhibitname~\theexhibit\autodot}
\renewcommand*{\exhibitmarkformat}{\theexhibit\autodot\enskip}
\newcaptionname{english}{\exhibitname}{Exhibit}
\automark*{exhibit}

\AddtoDoHook{heading/preinit/exhibit}{\preexhibit}
\newcommand*{\preexhibit}[1]{\cleardoubleevenpage}

\SetTopic{Some Stuff I Want You To Read About}
\title{Topical Readings On \\ Things You Should Know}
\author{Topical Readings Guy}

\begin{document}
\maketitle
\tableofcontents
\exhibit[head={First Thing in TOC}]{The First Thing}
\includepdf[
    scale=.9,
    pages=1-4,
    clip=true,
    offset=-5mm 0,
    pagecommand={}]
    {dummy.pdf}
\exhibit[tocentry={Second Thing in TOC},head={Second Thing in Header}]{A Super Important Second Thing - Excerpt}
A Textual description of that second thing. 
\includepdf[scale=.8,pages=1-3,clip=true,pagecommand={}]{dummy.pdf}
\end{document}

If an exhibit should be unnumbered, but should get entries in ToC and header, then use option nonumber: \exhibit[nonumber, ...]{...}. You could also change the counter secnumdepth to \partnumdepth.

1

I hope that this will get you started. It uses the memoir class (a superset of book, report, and article classes).

% chapterprob.tex SE 539884 blank page after chapter title

\documentclass{memoir}
\usepackage{lipsum}

% change chapter layout
%\renewcommand{\chapterheadstart}{\mbox{}\vfill}
%\renewcommand{\afterchaptertitle}{\vfill\mbox{}\cleardoublepage}
%\renewcommand{\printtoctitle}[1]{\Huge\bfseries #1}

\begin{document}
\pagestyle{headings}
\tableofcontents* % uses \chapter for its title

% change chapter layout
\renewcommand{\chapterheadstart}{\mbox{}\vfill}
\renewcommand{\afterchaptertitle}{\vfill\mbox{}\cleardoublepage}

\chapter[toc-title][head-title]{Main title}
\section{A section}
\lipsum[1-8]

\end{document}

This changes the \chapter titles to be halfway down the page and creates a blank page after the title. All sectional division commands in the class take 2 optional arguments for entries in the ToC and the page header. The \tableofcontents, etc., basically use the \chapter as their title, but you probably don't want that so be careful where you change the chapter layout.

Please read the documentation (texdoc memoir) for other things that you want to do (perhaps like changing chapter to exhibit).

Alternatively, if you needed to keep switching between the normal chapter layout and the new one you could define a new chapterstyle.

% chapterprob2.tex SE 539884 blank page after chapter title

\documentclass{memoir}
\usepackage{lipsum}

% make new chapterstyle midskip
\makechapterstyle{midskip}{%
  \renewcommand{\chapterheadstart}{\mbox{}\vfill}
  \renewcommand{\afterchaptertitle}{\vfill\mbox{}\cleardoublepage}
}

\begin{document}
\pagestyle{headings}
\tableofcontents % uses \chapter for its title

% change chapter layout
\chapterstyle{midskip} % the new chapter style
\chapter[toc-midskip-title][head-midskip-title]{Main midskip title}
\section{A section}
\lipsum[1-8]

\chapterstyle{default} % revert to the normal chapter style
\chapter[toc-title][head-title]{Main title}
\section{A section}
\lipsum[1-8]

\end{document}

I feel that I have provided answers to three of your questions. For any remaining please ask another question about them. --- GOM

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