Latest news 2021-09-06: new blog post "Legacy Documents and TeX Live Docker Images".
Previous: Computing the Parameters for parshape  Up: TeX/LaTeX  Next: Creating Frames for Use with the flowfram Package

# Computing the Parameters for shapepar

The \parshape command is fairly limited. You need the right amount of text in the paragraph to get the shape right, and you can't have cut out sections. These two things can be overcome using the \shapepar or \Shapepar commands defined in the shapepar package. The syntax for these commands is complex and those interested should read the shapepar documentation. As with \parshape, the shape is constructed using horizontal scan lines. If you want gaps to appear in your shape, make sure to set the winding rule to even-odd. If in doubt, give the path a fill colour; the area that is filled will contain the text of the paragraph, and the area that isn't filled won't.

FlowframTk defaults to using \Shapepar rather than \shapepar, but you can change this in the TeX/LaTeX Configuration Dialog.

To determine the parameters for \Shapepar/\shapepar, create your shape as a single path. Select this path, and use the menu item TeX/LaTeX->Shapepar. As with \parshape, a dialog box will open allowing you to select whether you want to use the path itself to define the shape or whether you want to use the path's outline to define the shape. For example, Figure 10.5(a) shows a path with a 40bp line width. The \shapepar parameters were constructed first from the path (Figure 10.5(b)) and then from the outline (Figure 10.5(c)).

 (a) (b) (c)
Figure 10.5: Shapepar example: (a) the path; (b) parameters constructed from the path and included in a LaTeX document to produce a shaped paragraph; (c) parameters constructed from the path's outline and included in a LaTeX document to produce a shaped paragraph.

As with the parshape function, the horizontal scan lines used by FlowframTk will appear on screen, and if successful, a dialog box will appear for you to save the \Shapepar/\shapepar command to a file. You can then input this file at the start of the appropriate paragraph in your TeX or LaTeX document. For example, if you save the command to a file called, say, myshapepar.tex, then if you are using plain TeX you would need to do:

```\input myshapepar
This is the start of the paragraph...
```
or if you are using LaTeX you would need to do:
```\input{myshapepar}%
This is the start of the paragraph...
```
Remember to include the shapepar package:
• `\input shapepar.sty` (plain TeX)
• `\usepackage{shapepar}` (LaTeX)