CTAN Quotation Packages in LaTeX

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In LaTeX, typing quotation marks in English (either US or UK) is easy but doing so consistently and across different languages is problematic. The problem stems from the array of different marks each language uses. We can see in table \ref{tab:table1} the different marks across languages. To ensure uniform typography, writers must be aware of and pay attention to various language rules, e.g. the primary and secondary quotation marks are swapped in UK and US English.

Table of primary and secondary quotation marks for different languages
Language Primary Secondary
English(UK) '…'
English(US) '…'
Danish »…« >…<
Lithuanian „…” No secondary quotes
French «…» «…»
German „…” ‚…’
Russian «…» „…”
Ukrainian «…» No Secondary Quotes

To make life easier, there are several packages on the CTAN database that makes the entering of quotation marks easier and efficient.

The dirtytalk Package

Manual

ftp://sunsite.icm.edu.pl/pub/CTAN/macros/latex/contrib/dirtytalk/dirtytalk.pdf

Description:

This is a very small LaTeX package that runs just 51 lines with just one command: \say. It can be loaded in the preamble: \usepackage{dirtytalk} and supports one nested quotation thus allowing for consistent primary and secondary application of quotation marks. Users can also redefine the quotation marks:

Here we can see the code for German quotations.

Pros

  • Easy of use, only one command.
  • Supports nested quotations.

Cons

  • Only one nested quotation. No rule for adding more nested quotations without modifying package source code.
  • No support for babel or polyglossia for quotes glyphes.

To learn more, read our dirtytalk article.

The csquotes Package

Manual

ftp://ftp.gust.org.pl/TeX/macros/latex/contrib/csquotes/csquotes.pdf

Description

A fairly large package with advanced facilities for inline and display quotations. Supports a wide-range of commands, environments and user-definable quotes. Quotes can be adjusted to the current languages. Autostyle can be turned by autostyle=true in the options. There are vast variety of commands to insert quotes: inline, quotes with sources, block-quotes with the support of changing language.

Pros

  • Usage of babel and polyglossia packages for quotations marks.
  • Custom number of nested quotes.
  • Multilingual documents: options to set language for arbitrary quote.

Cons

  • Vast number of options and commands --- too complex for most tasks.

The epigraph Package

Manual

ftp://ftp.tpnet.pl/pub/CTAN/macros/latex/contrib/epigraph/epigraph.pdf

Description

Another large package with vast of options to typeset the epigraphs and epigraphs lists. Provides commands for typesetting a single epigraph: \epigraph, and an epigraphs for typesetting a list of epigraphs. Can be typeset at either left, right and center of the typeblock.

Pros

  • Easy typeset of quotes and quotes list.
  • Many options for customization.
  • Can be used with bibliography.

Cons

  • Looks like it being frozen - long time without update.

The fancychapters Package

Manual

Only exists as LaTeX source code
ftp://sunsite.icm.edu.pl/pub/CTAN/macros/latex209/contrib/misc/fancychapters.sty

Description

The package adds two new commands:

  • \Chapter{«quote»}{«title»}
  • \Chapter{«quote»}[«abbrev»]{«title»}

Simple package to print fancy chapter headings.

Pros

  • Automatic calculation of width to print fancy quotation and chapter name.

Cons

  • Can be used only with book and report documentstyles.
  • Works only for chapters: support for custom document parts like the empheq package.

The quotchap Package

Manual

ftp://ftp.gust.org.pl/TeX/macros/latex/contrib/quotchap/quotchap.pdf

Description

A very small package of only only 87 lines for typesetting quotations after the \chapter command by redefining both the \chapter macro and its starred version.

Pros

  • Better than the fancychapter package as it is newer and more customizable.
  • Color and fonts can be customized easily.

Cons

  • Works only with book and report classes.

The epigram Package

Manual (in source code)

No official manual exists other than the LaTeX source code file.
ftp://ftp.tpnet.pl/pub/CTAN/macros/generic/misc/epigram.tex

Description

A package that provides an \epigram command to typeset epigrams that is both easy and simple to use. It is so small that the entire code can be shown here:

Pros

  • So simple that it's hard to break.

Cons

  • There are few (almost no) options for customization.
  • Looks like nothing more than the simple example of package.

Conclusion

  • As we can see, there are a number of interesting and useful CTAN packages for typesetting quotations, quotes and heading for chapters.If you need to just typeset simple quotes or quotations the best way is the dirtytalk package for it simplicity. This can be wrapped it in the flushleft environment.
  • For simple chapter headings we can use the epigram or the fancychapters packages. The epigraph can also be used for typesetting list of quotes.
  • The best package for typesetting quotes is the csquotes package as there is support for almost everything from automatic quotes symbols detection, inline-, block- quotes, vast options for customization, multilingual support and much more. This package is large, making it more suitable for large documents with many languages.

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