Help:Beginner's guide to typography

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Beginner's guide to typography
How to format and arrange the text on a page.

When proofreading a work for Wikisource, it helps to get the typesetting as close as possible to the original. However, Wikisource has some of its own style guidelines and the fact that this is a website rather than a printed book affects what can be achieved with typesetting. This page should help you start typesetting a work.

Please note that typesetting is secondary to the text itself. If there is a conflict between the two or a problem with typesetting, always keep the wording of the text intact and either ignore any inconvenient formatting or leave it until later. Wikisource is a wiki, so corrections and improvements can always be made at any time, either by yourself or by another user.

Paragraphs and sentences[edit]

Although the general maxim on Wikisource is to preserve the source text as closely as possible, there are some concessions made for the change of medium from the printed page to a digital format. Chief among these are changes to the way in which paragraphs are formatted, and the consequences of such changes.

Do not indent paragraphs or other text on Wikisource. 
The beginning of a paragraph should not be indented, regardless of the original text. Why? In a printed work, the first line of a paragraph is normally indented by a small distance from the left margin. This indentation provides the reader with a visual cue to the start of a new paragraph. On Wikisource, the visual cue is provided in the form of a greater spacing between paragraphs. It is a natural consequence of our software that there will be greater line spacing between the final line of one paragraph and the start of the next paragraph. Because this visual cue exists, we do not use paragraph indentation under normal circumstances.

Under no circumstances should one or more spaces be used at the beginning of a line of text. This has unfortunate consequences for the way in which the following line will be displayed by the software. The text will appear in an equal-spaced font (usually Courier) inside a shaded rectangle, as shown below:

This is what happens when a space appears before a line of text.
Leave a blank line between paragraphs. 
To produce the greater line spacing between paragraphs, simply leave a blank line between the two paragraphs when editing. This must be a truly blank line, without any characters or spaces.
Remove line breaks. 
Printed books break lines of text whenever it is necessary to fit the lines to the page. Scanned text will usually add line breaks at the end of each line as it appears in the original text. Line breaks are usually an artefact of the printing process, and not information in the original work. Thus, when converting a text from its source into a Wikisource page, it is best practice to remove any line breaks. Note that it may be easier to do this after proofreading. It is not absolutely necessary to remove them, as web browsers will naturally wrap text for the individual reader, but these breaks should be removed, such that all the lines in a paragraph are connected with no breaks.
Reconnect hyphenated words broken over separate lines. 
Words broken over two lines should be reconnected into one word again. For example, if a line of text ends in "bad-" and the next line begins with "ger", the hyphen and break should be removed to leave just "badger". However, take care when doing this that you do not eliminate hyphens from the middle of hyphenated words, such as "twenty-nine", "three-fourths", or "Saxe-Coburg". When these words are broken at the end of a line, they may look like ordinary words that were hyphenated merely as a result of a line break, when in fact they are hyphenated words. Recognizing the difference between these two situations requires some common sense, but also an awareness that rules for spacing and hyphenation both vary by country and change over time. For example, the word "today" was sometimes written as "to day" or "to-day" in some older works. Browsing several pages of the work, or looking at nearby paragraphs, can often answer questions about whether a hyphen should be retained or collapsed.
A single space is sufficient between sentences. 
Traditionally, style guides for printed works advocate two spaces following a full stop (period), exclamation point, question mark, or other punctuation occurring at the end of a sentence. People who learned to type or keyboard under such a style guide may do this habitually. However, web browsers normally collapse two or more consecutive spaces on a line into a single space. It is therefore necessary to include only a single space between sentences of the same paragraph, as any extra spaces will not be displayed.

The above statements about formatting are standard in most situations, but there are some exceptions. For example, poetry is deliberately written on multiple lines, and so removing all line breaks is not appropriate. Formatting poetry is a more advanced topic, and is covered at Help:Poetry. Also, when a hyphenated word falls at the end of a page, and continues onto the start of the following page, special formatting is required. This issue is discussed below under Multiple pages.

Text format[edit]

Under this heading are included issues of the style of text, such as bold and italics, as well as the size, font (such as blackletter), and special characters.

Text style[edit]

You can type italic or bold text by adding apostrophes to either side of the text as shown in this table.

Font style Wiki code Description
Italics ''Italics'' To make text italic, add two apostrophes on either side of the text.
Bold '''Bold''' To make text bold, add three apostrophes on either side of the text.
Bold italics '''''Bold italics''''' To make text bold and italic at the same time, add five apostrophes on either side of the text.

(ie. two apostrophes around three other apostrophes to achieve both effects at the same time.)

Text size[edit]

To change the size of text, you can use the following templates. This is especially useful with chapter titles or footnotes and it might even be used elsewhere in the text.


Text size Template Wiki code Paragraph equivalent Notes
xx-smaller {{xx-smaller}} {{xx-smaller|Foo}} gives Foo {{xx-smaller block}}
x-smaller {{x-smaller}} {{x-smaller|Foo}} {{x-smaller block}}
smaller {{smaller}} {{smaller|Foo}} {{smaller block}}
normal normal No templates or modification at all.
larger {{larger}} {{larger|Foo}} {{larger block}}
x-larger {{x-larger}} {{x-larger|Foo}} {{x-larger block}}
xx-larger {{xx-larger}} {{xx-larger|Foo}} {{xx-larger block}}
xxx-larger {{xxx-larger}} {{xxx-larger|Foo}} {{xxx-larger block}}
xxxx-larger {{xxxx-larger}} {{xxxx-larger|Foo}} {{xxxx-larger block}}


Table comparing reduced sizes[edit]

 
Templates Normal Bold Italics Bold and italics
This is 100% font size. This is 100% font size. This is 100% font size. This is 100% font size.
This is 99% font size. This is 99% font size. This is 99% font size. This is 99% font size.
This is 98% font size. This is 98% font size. This is 98% font size. This is 98% font size.
This is 97% font size. This is 97% font size. This is 97% font size. This is 97% font size.
This is 96% font size. This is 96% font size. This is 96% font size. This is 96% font size.
This is 95% font size. This is 95% font size. This is 95% font size. This is 95% font size.
This is 94% font size. This is 94% font size. This is 94% font size. This is 94% font size.
This is 93% font size. This is 93% font size. This is 93% font size. This is 93% font size.
{{fine block}} This is 92% font size. This is 92% font size. This is 92% font size. This is 92% font size.
This is 91% font size. This is 91% font size. This is 91% font size. This is 91% font size.
This is 90% font size. This is 90% font size. This is 90% font size. This is 90% font size.
This is 89% font size. This is 89% font size. This is 89% font size. This is 89% font size.
This is 88% font size. This is 88% font size. This is 88% font size. This is 88% font size.
This is 87% font size. This is 87% font size. This is 87% font size. This is 87% font size.
This is 86% font size. This is 86% font size. This is 86% font size. This is 86% font size.
This is 85% font size. This is 85% font size. This is 85% font size. This is 85% font size.
This is 84% font size. This is 84% font size. This is 84% font size. This is 84% font size.
{{smaller}} This is 83% font size. This is 83% font size. This is 83% font size. This is 83% font size.
This is 82% font size. This is 82% font size. This is 82% font size. This is 82% font size.
This is 81% font size. This is 81% font size. This is 81% font size. This is 81% font size.
This is 80% font size. This is 80% font size. This is 80% font size. This is 80% font size.
This is 79% font size. This is 79% font size. This is 79% font size. This is 79% font size.
This is 78% font size. This is 78% font size. This is 78% font size. This is 78% font size.
This is 77% font size. This is 77% font size. This is 77% font size. This is 77% font size.
This is 76% font size. This is 76% font size. This is 76% font size. This is 76% font size.
This is 75% font size. This is 75% font size. This is 75% font size. This is 75% font size.
This is 74% font size. This is 74% font size. This is 74% font size. This is 74% font size.
This is 73% font size. This is 73% font size. This is 73% font size. This is 73% font size.
This is 72% font size. This is 72% font size. This is 72% font size. This is 72% font size.
This is 71% font size. This is 71% font size. This is 71% font size. This is 71% font size.
This is 70% font size. This is 70% font size. This is 70% font size. This is 70% font size.
{{x-smaller}} {{x-smaller block}} This is 69% font size. This is 69% font size. This is 69% font size. This is 69% font size.
This is 68% font size. This is 68% font size. This is 68% font size. This is 68% font size.
{{xx-smaller}} {{xx-smaller block}} This is 58% font size. This is 58% font size. This is 58% font size. This is 58% font size.

Other text effects[edit]

There are many different text effects that can be made with templates. This table shows some of the most common:

Format Template Wiki code Effect Notes
Small capitals {{smallcaps}}, {{sc}} {{smallcaps|foo lorem}}, {{smallcaps|Foo Lorem}} foo lorem, Foo Lorem
Dropped initial, or "drop cap" {{dropinitial}}, {{di}} {{dropinitial|F}}oo Foo Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. Additional text has been added with the {{lorem ipsum}} template to show how this will appear in a paragraph.
Raised, or large, initial {{largeinitial}}, {{li}} {{largeinitial|F}}oo Foo Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. Additional text has been added here as well for the same reason.
Hanging indent {{hanging indent}}, {{hi}} {{hanging indent|lorem ipsum}}

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Text also added with the {{lorem ipsum}} template.

Font face[edit]

In most situations, Wikisource does not specify the choice of font for texts; this choice is left to the browser or reader. However there are some situations in which it is useful to specify a particular font, and this can be done with one of the following templates:

Format Template Wiki code Effect Notes
Blackletter {{blackletter}}, {{bl}} {{blackletter|für Elise}} für Elise Can be combined with other effects and templates
Polytonic {{polytonic}} {{polytonic|Προμηθεὺς Δεσμώτης}} Προμηθεὺς Δεσμώτης Used for rendering Ancient Greek.

Symbols and special characters[edit]

Unicode, also known as "What about these funny characters?"

Often in our works there are unusual and foreign characters, and, not unexpectedly, many of us don't know how to type these. To assist, in the new toolbar, and at the bottom of our editing pages there is included an edit tools that allow the addition of these characters. To note that the available character sets do not contain every character, especially with very old typesets. You can check one of the following sites to look to see if the character is available in modern fonts

If you can find the character, you can just copy and paste it into the work on Wikisource. Alternatively, you can use the HTML entity code of the character; for example the ‡ (double dagger) is represented with ‡.

Layout[edit]

Header and footer, and edit area orientation[edit]

Header&footer and edit area orientation.jpg

The visibility of the header and footer is controlled by the [+] control on the toolbar and the default state, on how it should appear in when opening a page for edit is set in the user Preferences on the Edit tab.

The edit area orientation between side by side or over and under editing mode is also set by the x control on the toolbar, and its default state, on how it should appear in when opening a page for edit is also set in the user Preferences on the Edit tab.

 

Header and footer text position[edit]

Template Short form Usage
{{RunningHeader}} {{rh}} Easy formatting for headers and footers, including page numbers.
 
Examples of RunningHeader
Template Result
{{rh|1|CHAPTER TITLE|[1830.}}
1
[1830.
CHAPTER TITLE
{{fs|90%|{{rh|1|CHAPTER TITLE|[1830.}}}}
1
[1830.
CHAPTER TITLE
{{rh||''Book Title''|55}}
55
Book Title
{{rh|{{sc|Vol}}. 2||Page 101}}
Vol. 2
Page 101
 
 

Text position[edit]

These templates do not format text (such as adjusting text size); they help to format the pages themselves.

Template Short form Usage
{{Center}} {{c}} Aligns text to the center of the current line.
{{Hyphenated word start}} {{hws}} To re-connect a word split across two pages.
{{Hyphenated word end}} {{hwe}} To complete the re-connection of a word split across two pages.
{{nop}} n/a Mark the end of a paragraph if it is also the last text on a page.

For example, if page 1 ends with "contin-" and page 2 starts with "-uation", you should replace this text with the following: On page 1 use "{{hws|contin|continuation}}" and on page 2 use "{{hwe|uation|continuation}}". When saved, this will still appear as "contin-" and "-uation" in the page namespace, although each will have the tooltip "continuation". In the main namespace, however, this will appear as just "continuation".

 

Multiple pages[edit]

The text in a book will normally continue across pages and the computer program behind the proofreading process assumes this. When the text appears in the mainspace, it will put a space between the last word on the first page and the first word on the second page. Usually this is what you want to happen. However there are some cases where you will need to use a template to make the program do something different.

  • If a page ends with the end of a paragraph: add the template {{nop}} on a new line at the end. This will prevent the paragraph being merged with the first paragraph of the next page.
  • If a word is broken over two pages: add the {{hyphenated word start}} template to the first page and the {{hyphenated word end}} template to the second page.
    For example, if page 5 ends with "bad-" and page 6 begins with "-ger", you should end page 5 with
{{hyphenated word start|bad|badger}}
and you should begin page 6 with
{{hyphenated word end|ger|badger}}
 
When the pages are brought together in the mainspace, this will appear as just "badger".

Tables[edit]

Tables can be used both to create a table (if one was in the original text) and to arrange the layout of text. This can be complicated.

More information[edit]