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Old 08-08-2012, 01:20 PM   #1
ibn opcit
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ibn opcit began at the beginning.
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phantom indents in poetry


I am converting some poetry books to epub and kf8/mobi. To achieve backwards-compatible indentation behavior, I am using Joshua Tallent's techniques, described here.

My question is about a special case of poetry indentation, where a line is indented according to the space taken by the previous line. The attached image gives the idea.

It is important that the indentation be font-independent, so that the alignment survives under a change of font.

In latex (in the memoir class), this kind of indent can be achieved using
\vinphantom{this will insert whitespace which is exactly the width of this text}
On newer e-readers, this kind of indent can be achieved using
span.hemistich {
    visibility: hidden;
... in the css, then something like ...
<p class="poemline">At a four-way stop the minivan guns it,</p>
<p class="poemline"><span class="hemistich">At a four-way stop the minivan guns it,</span>--the girl's hair</p>
I am looking for a version of this technique that degrades gracefully on older devices that do not support the visibility property. It's okay if the indent doesn't work perfectly on older devices, but you get the grand prize if it does.

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