[NTG-context] Listing of typical beginner-questions

Luuk Beurskens luuk.beurskens at gmx.net
Thu Mar 29 19:36:10 CEST 2007

Dear all,

Last weekend I had my first hands-on experience with Context. I was told
that a listing of the type of problems that I encountered would have a
certain value to the Context project. That's why below you'll find an 
overview of my beginner-questions, to some of which I already found answers.

My aim is not to have all questions answered via the list, but rather to
document them for later use in some kind of manual. For I know that
finding the answers is mostly a matter of searching the documentation.

Kind regards,

Luuk Beurskens
The Netherlands

PS: I have been using Latex for some years. The questions below came up
using a stand-alone Context environment in MS Windows.

Q: Starting with Context, the use of which language is to be preferred
for the commands?
A: The English version is most commonly applied, even in the Netherlands

Q: If one starts in a Context document in one language, can it be easily
converted to another language (form English to Dutch or German, for
A: This is possible, but no ready-available tool exists.

Q: Why does background=color not work inside \bTABLE ... \eTABLE?
A: Put \setupcolors[state=start] in the beginning of the document

Q: How to apply a background colour for the margin space?
A: This is possible but not easy to explain. See info by Patrick
Gundlach and the section Crossing Borders in the Metafun manual in
chapter Pagebackgrounds by Hans Hagen.

Q: Where to put the commands that apply to the whole document? Is there
a 'preferred sectioning' of a Context source?

Q: What is the equivalent of the Latex \begin{thebibliography} environment?

Q: The command \setupwhitespace[big] doesn't have an impact on the
paragraph spacing. What am I doing wrong?

Q: Using \startcombination[*] it is possible to display several pictures
into one figure. How could one achieve that several figures are treated
as one picture, i.e. that they are all forced to be placed on one page?

Q: One cell in a table (\bTABLE ... e\TABLE) should contain a unit (EJ
for example) in square brackets: [EJ]. The result is that the respective
row is not displayed at all. What is wrong? Could I possibly use the
Latex equivalent \symbol{code}?

Q: How can I change the fontsize inside a table?

Q: How can I change the fontsize of an \inmargin?

Q: How can I make a line in the header or footer of a document?

Q: How can I define a fancy page numbering (i.e. large and coloured

Q: How to make sure that numbers in a colomn align correctly, for example:
Inserting ~ works fine when using a proportional font. An extra
difficulty occurs when the figures should be centered below the heading
of the column.

Q: a question related to the use of SciTE: changing the file
scite.properties for a proportional fontsize doesn't work, although it
is very well explained in the SciTE helpfile. What's the trick?

Q: Installing the minimal context distribution on a Windows 98 machine
gives problems when copying on harddisk E:. Running the batch-file
cscite.bat results in the following message: "cscite root, e.g. cscite
d:\copyofcdrom" (more info: C: exists but D: is a non-writable linux
partition). On a different computer the same directory structure on C:
didn't give this message and worked well.

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