What is the idea behind the command \maxchunks in the ledmac/ledpar-package?

Of course, I understand that I get an error when I have used, say, 15 times \pstart ... \pend while \maxchunks is set to {10}. But then I just increase the value of \maxchunks to {15} or {20} or even {100}.

So, why not using \maxchunks{1000000}? Is there any reason or recommendation for not using a value that high?


\maxchunks internally allocates box registers and the problem is that there's only a limited number of those registers (256). You can set \maxchunks up to 56 without problems, but using


will trigger the

! No room for a new \count .
\ch@ck ...\else \errmessage {No room for a new #3}

error. Loading the etex package, you have now 32768 available box registers; you can increase the \maxchunks value up to 16346:


but \maxchunks{16347} will trigger the error once again.

  • wow, Thank you. Additional Questions: (1) Do I have to load etex when I use Lualatex? I tried \maxchunks{57} but no error occured. (2) So there is absolutely no harm in using a lot of \pstart ... \pend and in increasing maxchunks? – ClintEastwood May 7 '12 at 10:47
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    @ClintEastwood: You're welcome! Regarding your additional questions: (1) no idea about LuaLaTeX, sorry. (2) Well, it depends; some packages can allocate boxes, and maybe you yourself also allocate some boxes other than those created bt \pstart, as long as the total number of allocated boxed doesn't exceed the maximum allowed, there's no risk (and using etex (at least with LaTeX) there's plenty of boxes available). – Gonzalo Medina May 7 '12 at 17:54
  • @ClintEastwood (continued). If, for some reason, you get out of boxes, ledpar recomendation is to either increase \maxchunks or use the parallel printing commands (\Columns or \Pages) more frequently. – Gonzalo Medina May 7 '12 at 17:55
  • Well, in my case, when I have used too many chunks they start loosing syncronization. Therefore using \Pages as often as possible does'nt seem to me a bad idea. It also gives me the chance of adjusting \goalfraction manualy (if I find it convenient) for each set of chunks. – Anabel Sep 15 '12 at 16:39

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