[NTG-context] Discussion: correspondence with ConTeXt

Wolfgang Schuster schuster.wolfgang at googlemail.com
Fri Apr 18 09:12:04 CEST 2008

On Thu, Apr 17, 2008 at 5:32 PM, Henning Hraban Ramm <hraban at fiee.net> wrote:
> Am 2008-04-17 um 16:32 schrieb Wolfgang Schuster:
> >> I normally use InDesign for my business letters and invoices.
> > Dou you use a template for your letters.
> Not an InDesign template file (.idt), but a single document (with
> master pages) for every purpose (German/Swiss/English, letter/
> invoice, private/business) that I overwrite every time. (I save a
> copy if the matter is important.)
> > LaTeX has two packages to create invoices and we could also
> > have one for ConTeXt but it makes only sense to use it with LuaTeX,
> > TeX's arithmetic to limited for longer calculations.
> For other purposes I simply write my TeX code with a script, mostly
> only one file that contains the "dynamical" data and gets included.
> E.g.
> - cover for backup CD/DVDs (that script even has a GUI - it reads a
> disk; shows the directory tree, so you can select which parts you'd
> like to be visible; writes a TeX file; calls ConTeXt and opens the PDF)
> - my address book (pulls and formats data from a MySQL database)
> - business cards for one big company (I receive an Excel file with
> personnel data, save it as CSV and "convert" that to ConTeXt, PDF
> with one page per person gets imposed and printed on cardboard with
> pre-printed logo)
> >> Another problem were different letter heads for first, odd and even
> >> pages.
> >
> > Different header for the first and another one for the following
> > headers
> > is simple and possible with my module. The option to change the layout
> > for odd and even pages is currently not supported but should be
> > possible but it has to be integrated in the normal interface.
> My sheets have a pre-printed logo, I use the same for all pages of a
> letter.
> On the first page I need address and bank data.

Easy to do with layers,option state=start.

> On even pages (back side) there's no logo, so I don't need the big
> top border.

Harder to implement because I hide the layers from the user and
I don't know hoe I could support the doublesided option but it is
possible to one special layers (lefthead/righthead) for just this feature.

> Normally I leave out the first even page, e.g. my job application
> starts with an one-side letter, the following data (CV, references
> etc.) uses front and back page.

Different layouts for left and right pages are not supported because
letters are normally printed singlesided or the header has only on
the first page a different layout but this could be related to the
restrictions in Word why I newver saw this.

CV's are another topic and it makes sense to use a seperate
environment for them, this is what I did for myself.

> The application had the additional difficulty that there's the photo
> on the CV page, and I wanted the title in white *on* the photo...

I don't get what you mean, can you give me a example.

> At least in the "online" PDF - I used modes to produce both printed
> version (without logo, because that's pre-printed on my sheets) and
> email version (with logo)




> >> (It would have been *much* easier to use InDesign for that stuff,
> >> like for most other designs that I do...)
> >
> > This is also possible with ConTeXt because you could setup layers
> > to place content dependent on left and right pages and the page layout
> > could also change for left and right pages as long as you don't change
> > the text width.
> I used layers and setups, but I had difficulties switching them on
> and off. And what not - can't remember everything.

A few things are easy and I can do basic things without any manuals but
advanced layouts are only possible with the source and trial and error.

It is even harder to place layers if you want to fix them on lines in grid mode
in the text with frames a content for the layer.


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