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Re: [vox-tech] Another TeX question

# Re: [vox-tech] Another TeX question

On Wed, Aug 22, 2001 at 03:08:27PM -0700, Peter Jay Salzman wrote:

> > Pete's "\protect" helped, but now the row in the table (with the bar code) is
> > right-justified in a very odd way.
>
> hmmm... it would help if i knew what the output looked like.

Actually, I discovered that the "\protect" wasn't working except when
_didn't_ put it in the multicolumn (by removing the "{}"'s :)  D'oh!)

The code I'm working with to do the barcode stuff is here:

"code39.tex" to be exact.

Within the constraints of "\begincodethirtynine{}", it
replaces alphanumeric characters and some symbols with macros that
spit out the appropriate combinations of thick and thin lines and spaces.

However, when _this_ is within a box of some kind (including a
"multicolumn{}" in a "\begin{tabular*}"), the re-configuration of these
characters stops working.

When the "\begincodethirtynine{}" macro is called, the first thing it
does is _specifically_ invoke the starting-code barcode macro.
("\endcodethirtynine" does the ending-code barcode macro)

This is why I ended up with "|||| HELLO ||||".  What's _supposed_ to
be happening (but isn't within any kind of boxes) is "H", "E", the "L"s
and "O" should be getting replaced with other appropriate barcode macros.

<snip>
> 1. i don't know which environment you're using (because the text was cut),
> but you may want to try the array environment; it's more powerful.  has more
> formatting directives for the preamble.

Not sure what you're talking about. :)  FYI, I've been doing most of
the parsing and other fun interactive stuff.  A co-worker has been
learning Latex and implementing the template and layout based on
requirements.

I decided to try and tackle Postnet (which was easy) and then
Code39 (which was pretty easy, too, until we switched from my code
to this "code39.tex" macro :) )

> 2. if you're desperate to get something working right away, use visual
> markup.   xspace will nudge your text into the right position.  i believe it
> takes negative arguments also.   hskip/hspace might work here too.

Like I said above, the right-alignment issue was simply because I
placed the barcode _outside_ the multicolumn :)  D'oh!

<snip>
> 4. the stuff you're doing right now falls squarely under "intermediate
> latex".  this is precisely the kind of thing you need "the latex companion"
> for.

My coworker here purchased a Latex-for-the-web book which doesn't seem too
useful, as well as Latex-for-Linux, which has been pretty good.

> it's crazy to do this kind of stuff without a copy of the the latex

Yep! :)  Time to hit nerdbooks!

<snip more stuff about books and justification>

> 6. comp.text.tex has some really hardcore people who answer all the tough
> nuts that can't be cracked.  those guys are truly amazing, and they usually
> get back to you within a day.

A day is way too long.  We need this working yesterday (as is usual ;) )

<snip>
> btw, the parbox/minipage idea couldn't work.  basically, you want to protect
> fragile commands from getting eaten up by moving commands.  boxes won't do
> that.

Well, did my comment about the macro replacing how characters work help
any?

Should I just give up and go back to using my template-based code? :)

> if you send me some code, if i can compile it, i'll take a look (but i'm not
> promising anything! ;) ).  sometimes latex can give you extremely great
> output in a matter of minutes.  the perfect output can take hours and even
> days!!!

We'll see.  I'd have to create a dummy doc for you, since I can't actually
give you what we're working on.

Thx!

-bill!