Expectations for Shrinking and Expanding


I’m using PTXPrint 1.8.1. I have been trying to improve the default layout on some pages by working with the adjustments list to stretch or shrink paragraphs.

My question is – How does PTXPrint decide on whether to apply requested adjustments to the layout. My current experience is that I can request a longer (+1) or shorter (-1) paragraph, but whether or not PTXPrint (TeX) applies that request is trial / error.

I’m sure that the spacing adjustments parameters given will have a big impact on whether the +1 or -1 can actually be obeyed. But, in numerous cases I am trying to shrink a paragraph which has a short last line, has more than 10 lines of text, and appears to have room for adjustment, but the shrink request with -1 at the appropriate reference has no effect.

What other factors are involved in understanding how PTXPrint decides whether to apply an adjustment, or not?


Hi Jeff, When I’m using the adjustments list, I pretty much never use -1. As you’ve seen, it often doesn’t “take”. I just plan my layout based on expanding paragraphs. If I glance through the PDF output and it looks like there are some “difficult” breaks, or an inconvenient number of pages, I often will make slight adjustments to the Base Font Size (on the Layout tab first), to give me a better starting point.

Thanks, Jeff.

It’s really helpful to hear your experience.

With some scripts and fonts, I think that expansion will end up more pleasing or acceptable than shrinking. And with others it will be the reverse. And obviously depends on the paragraph in question.

A question I don’t know the answer to – whether it is possible in TeX to indicate that I absolutely want one more line - and TeX can feel free to use all of the limits of the min / max in my spacing adjustment settings (but only as much as needed). I know that goes against the grain of limiting ‘badness’, but it would make it easier for someone to take some control and try various approaches to fitting on a specific page or spread.


Hi Jeff,

I know that this is an area that can get very frustrating - with trial and error, and if we were able to make it more interactive/dynamic through the UI, it would make the experience much more pleasant.

Yes, I like the suggestion about being able to force an extra line, or reduce a line - but have no idea whether we can pull that off at the TeX macro level. I’ll let the TeXperts think about that one…

We have the Spacing Adjustments settings on the Fonts+Scipts tab, but they tend to make a lot of other places pretty ugly too.

I wonder if there could be a way to only apply these more radical adjustments to specific problem paragraphs only, rather than to the whole document. That would be like forcing the grow/shrink.

This would be a great addition to PTX Print. I’ve used the kerning adjustment in LO Writer for years: There it applies to selected text, not to entire paragraphs, which makes the tweaks a bit less noticeable, I think. There I define three Character Styles with “less” and “more” shrinking and one level of expanding, and experiment with problem paragraphs until it looks best. This would be harder to design in PTX Print, I’m sure, but it would be nice to be able to go more “radical” for specific paragraphs, or even verses.