## Asterisms in LaTeX

February 22, 2011

Another $\LaTeX$ trick this week: asterisms. Asterisms are typographic devices used to separate or to call attention to a piece of text without resorting to using a section or chapter. While its usage in modern English (and French, for that matter) is now rare, it is still an interesting device to structure text.

The usual manifestation of an asterism is the ⁂ symbol (U+2042) but the single character asterism may not be suitable for all occasion. In HTML, and in these posts, you have seen it quite often. With $\LaTeX$, getting an decent-looking asterism is not that easy.

## Epigraphs in LaTeX

January 18, 2011

There are times when part of the message, the gist, must be communicated to the reader in an out-of-band fashion, so to speak. One way of doing this is to use an epigraph to open a chapter or section, carefully chosen to convey the intended message but in the voice of another author (self-epigraphs are of very bad taste in my opinion).

$\LaTeX$ is the preferred document preparation system of computer scientists, physicists, and mathematicians and if you intend to follow a career into the academia, it’s pretty much unavoidable. One day, you’ll have to learn $\LaTeX$. The thing is, $\LaTeX$ is pretty much like C++: it can do just about anything, but it’s not going to help you do it. You have to rely on the innumerable packages or, if you really can’t find what you need, you can code it yourself. Let us have a look on how to code an epigraph macro in $\LaTeX$.

## Suggested Reading:The LATEX Companion

September 4, 2009

Frank Mittelbach, Michel Goossens, Johannes Braams, David Carlisle, Chris Rowley — The LATEX Companion — 2nd ed, Addison Wesley, 2006, 1090 pp. ISBN 0-201-36299-6