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New markup rules for letters

Wikipublisher provides a set of markup rules to simplify the task of writing and typesetting letters. These rules identify the various parts of a letter, so that the typesetting engine can lay out the pages correctly. The page Site.Letter Form is a skeleton letter and can be used as a template for creating new letters. The markup rules are start-of-line markup in the form “<letter>colon” — like Q: and A: (question and answer) markup. The Letter markup lists the possible markup values.

Markup for writing letters
L:LetterName and address of addresseeAutomatically treats return as a line break
R:ReturnReturn address of the senderPlaced top right; treats return as line break
S:SubjectSubject line above the salutationSet bold and bigger
D:DearSalutation to the addresseeD:John produces “Dear John”
Y:YoursName of the sender (signatory)Includes vertical space for a signature
N:NameName of a second signatoryWe use this for the quality reviewer
C:CCRecipient(s) of a carbon copyAutomatically treats return as a line break
F:FromFrom address as a letter footerMust be on a single line (no line breaks)
P:PhonePhone number as a letter footerIf present, goes at the bottom right


Each markup rule occurs once; L: S: D: and Y: are required, the rest are optional. Normally, a writer will specify either a Return address (R:) or a From address (F:) and Phone number (P:). If the writer gives a Return address, the From address and Phone number are suppressed in the pdf. The “return=off” typesetting option suppresses R:, F:, and P: markup, producing a pdf suitable for printing onto pre-printed letterhead.

The Y: markup automatically inserts “Yours sincerely”. The N: markup has 3 variants — N: adds no additional text; NQ: adds “Quality review”; and NA: adds “Accepted and agreed”. These strings can all be customised. For example:

Yours sincerely

Peter Pukeko

Accepted and agreed:
Kathy Kakariki

Letterhead pages

When typesetting a letter, Wikipublisher looks for $Group.LetterHead, then Site.LetterHead. These pages may define shared L: (addressee), R: (return address), F: (one line from address) and P: (phone number) values. This lets a site administrator define return address information (F: and P:) once and share it across all letters. L:, R:, F:, and P: values defined in an individual letter over-ride the shared values. If present, a $Group.LetterHead page is used and the Site.LetterHead page is ignored. You might set up a $Group.LetterHead page if all (or most of) the letters in a group are to the same person.

Sample letter

The Welcome Letter page illustrates use of the letter markup. Notice how the letter markup rules automatically turn line breaks on and off, so that normal PmWiki and html text wrapping does not interfere with addresses. The example uses F: and P: rather than R: for the sender details. The (:typeset-letter:) directive (included in Site.Letter Form) tells the typesetting engine to use the letter template for printing. The letter typesetting template supports one level of heading only.

Page last modified on 06 September 2007 at 12:16 PM