Complex Layouts in ATF

This document describes how to deal with complex layouts, such as tabular formatting, in ATF.

Tablets with unusual layouts

Some tablets have unusual layouts that are hard to describe using the standard hierarchy of lines-within-columns-within-surfaces such as obverse or reverse. Blocks of text may be upside-down relative to the rest, for instance, or run from reverse to obverse.

In such cases, it is best not to use the standard structure codes such as @obverse and @column 1 but to use the @surface tag instead. For instance:

&P363868 = TCL 06, 13

#atf: lang akk-stdbab
#project: cams
#atf: use unicode

@column 1
$ (column runs from obverse to reverse)

@surface obv top
$ start of obverse missing
$ single ruling
1'.	 [... an]-na#-a-ti ana?# DUH.LAL₃
2'.	 [...] {na₄}GIŠ.NU₁₁.GAL
$ single ruling

@surface 90 degrees
$ single ruling
1. [...] $HA $SU x [...] x $KI $KAL E₂.GAL MAH {d}LUGAL.IR₉.RA
$ rest of surface missing

@surface 270 degrees
1. [...] {d#}40 GUB-MEŠ {mul}dele-bat {mul}ŠU.GI {mul}UR.GU.LA 

The online version (on CAMS []) does not attempt to replicate the directionality of the writing, but it describes and preserves the orientations and relationships of the blocks of text.

Tablets with both continuous and tabular formatting

Simple tables, with just a few columns, can be edited in Emacs with & before each cell of the table (and @& serving the same function in the translation).

To mark text that spans more than one column — such as table headers, interlinear notes, or colophons — add the number of columns spanned to the preceding &. For instance &3 precedes text that spans three columns of a table.

See the Advanced ATF and Lexical Conventions pages for more information about cells and fields.

Complex tables

For ease of editing, larger more complex tables — such as tabular administrative accounts or astronomical ephemerides — are best edited in OpenOffice [] Calc, a free, open-source spreadsheet program (also available as NeoOffice [] Calc for Macs). Using Calc will enable you to manage column spacing while still being able to validate and lemmatise your ATF. Calc spreadsheet filenames have the extension .ods so we will refer to them as ODS files here.

Setting up Calc

If you don't already have it, download and install OpenOffice [] or NeoOffice [] as you would any other application from the web.

Editing ATF in ODS

Now you are ready to type your ATF document. ODS files can only contain a single ATF document, which must be entered in Sheet 1 of the spreadsheet. The ATF processor ignores all other sheets.

NOTE that in the following image the language protocol line should read #atf: lang akk-x-stdbab according to current Oracc conventions.

A transliterated text in OpenOffice Calc

Translation proceeds in much the same way.

A translated text in OpenOffice Calc

Checking and lemmatising ODS files

You will need to check your ATF with the web service ATF checker []; you can't check it in Emacs.

When your ATF is clean, you can lemmatise it by clicking the Lemmatize button on the ATF checker [] page (once you have selected the ODS file you wish to lemmatise).

NOTE that in the following image the language protocol line should read #atf: lang akk-x-stdbab according to current Oracc conventions.

lemmatised ODS file

ODS files in project management

You (or your project manager, as appropriate) should treat ODS files just like ATF files. They are stored in a project's /00atf directory and can be re-opened and edited just like ATF files.

To count the lemmata in an ODS file you can do the following:

18 Dec 2019 osc at oracc dot org

Eleanor Robson

Eleanor Robson, 'Complex Layouts in ATF', Oracc: The Open Richly Annotated Cuneiform Corpus, Oracc, 2019 []

Back to top ^^

Released under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license 3.0, 2014. [] [] []
Oracc uses cookies only to collect Google Analytics data. Read more here; see the stats here []; opt out here.