Tiger of the Stripe Blog

ConTeXt: A Steep Learning Curve

Here's a shot of my desktop running ConTeXt. Before I try processing an XML document in ConTeXt, I have to learn the rudiments of that typesetting language. Although I have used TeX, LaTeX and XeTeX in the past, I am finding ConTeXt quite a challenge – mind you, all the TeX-derived systems are. I expect to be able to define font size and body size or leading in a single statement. Instead, I have to specify the font size and then the linespace in terms of height, depth, top, bottom and line. I'm not very sure what some of these are.

The ConTeXt manual recommends using a line break instead of the command \par. The odd thing is that the line breaks within the paragraph change when one goes from a \par to a line break. I haven't yet learnt how to change the relative size of the footnotes. Talking of footnotes, I noticed that the footnote numbers are not lined up with the body text but intrude into the backspace. Very odd. There is certainly a lot to grapple with.