A Guide to LATEX: Document Preparation for Beginners and Advanced Users / Edition 3

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Document Preparation For Beginners And Advanced Users. If you are a user with little or no experience of computers or text formatting and you wont to muster LATEX to produce documents of high quality, then this book is essential reading. Fully revised to cover the most up-to-date versions of LATEX this accessible and practical tutorial contains all of the information you will need to get up and running with LATEX, and is an essential reference tool to users at all levels. This book will enable you to: Master the basics of LATEX and explore more advanced topics including user-defined extensions Get up to speed with the latest LATEX extensions for adaptations to other languages Explore numerous practical examples and pick up handy tips for avoiding common problems Benefit from detailed appendices including the Command Summary and Summary Tables New to this Edition Completely updated to cover the latest releases and upgrades of LATEX Covers new features including graphics importation and PostScript font installation Section on LATEX and the World Wide Web Section on LATEX on Windows & Windows NT Section on installations for 32 bit PC
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Editorial Reviews

TEX is a computer typesetting program for producing scientific and technical documents, but is very complicated to use without a background in programming; LATEX is a set of macros that act as a more user-friendly interface. The systematic tutorial for beginners would also be a handy reference for the more experienced user. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780201398250
  • Publisher: Pearson Education
  • Publication date: 1/15/1999
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 616
  • Product dimensions: 6.82 (w) x 9.24 (h) x 1.18 (d)

Meet the Author

Helmut Kopka was previously a scientific staff member at the Max-Planck-Institut für Aeronomie in Germany. He was involved in writing one of the first TeX drivers for HP LaserJet and subsequently introduced TeX and LaTeX into his institute, where it has become the standard text-processing system for scientific publications.

Patrick W. Daly is a scientific staff member at the Max-Planck-Institut für Aeronomie in Germany. He has written formatting styles for several scientific journals and is the author of the natbib package for flexible bibliographic citations and of the custom-bib system for customizing bibliographic styles for use with BibTeX.


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Read an Excerpt

A new edition to A Guide to LaTeX begs the fundamental question: Has LaTeX changed so much since the appearance of the third edition in 1999 that a new release of this book is justified?

The simple answer to that question is 'Well,. . . .' In 1994, the LaTeX world was in upheaval with the issue of the new version LaTeX2ε, and the second edition of the Guide came out just then to act as the bridge between the old and new versions. By 1998, the initial teething problems had been worked out and corrected through semiannual releases, and the third edition could describe an established, working system. However, homage was still paid to the older 2.09 version since many users still employed its familiar syntax, although they were most likely to be using it in a LaTeX2ε environment. LaTeX has now reached a degree of stability that since 2000 the regular updates have been reduced to annual events, which often appear months after the nominal date, something that does not worry anyone. The old version 2.09 is obsolete and should no longer play any role in such a book. In this fourth edition, it is reduced to an appendix just to document its syntax and usage.

But if LaTeX itself has not changed substantially since 1999, many of its peripherals have. The rise of programs such as pdfTeX and dvipdfm for PDF output adds new possibilities, which are realized, not in LaTeX directly, but by means of more modern packages to extend the basic features. The distribution of TeX/LaTeX installations has changed, such that most users are given a complete, ready-to-run setup, with all the 'extras' that previously had to be obtained separately. Those extras include user-contributed packages, many of which are now considered indispensable. Today 'the LaTeX system' includes much more than the basic kernel by Leslie Lamport, encompassing the contributions of hundreds of other people. This edition reflects this increase in breadth.

The changes to the fourth edition are mainly those of emphasis.

  1. The material has been reorganized into 'Basics' and 'Beyond the Basics' ('advanced' sounds too intimidating) while the appendices contain topics that can be skipped by most everyday users. One exception: Appendix G is an alphabetized command summary that many people find extremely useful (including ourselves).

    This reorganizing is meant to stress certain aspects over others. For example, the section on graphics inclusion and color was originally treated as an exotic extra, relegated to an appendix on extensions; in the third edition, it was moved up to be included in a front chapter along with the picture environment and floats; now it dominates Chapter 8 all on its own, the floats come in the following Chapter 9, and picture is banished to the later Chapter 16. This is not to say that the picture features are no good, but only that they are very specialized. We add descriptions of additional drawing possibilities there too.
  2. It is stressed as much as possible that LaTeX is a markup language, with separation of content and form. Typographical settings should be placed in the preamble, while the body contains only logical markup. This is in keeping with the modern ideas of
  3. Throughout this edition, contributed packages are explained at the point in the text where they are most relevant. The fancyhdr package comes in the section on page styles, natbib where literature citations are explained. This stresses that these 'extensions' are part of the LaTeX system as a whole. However, to remind users that they must still be explicitly loaded, a marginal note is placed at the start of their descriptions.
  4. PDF output is taken for granted throughout the book, in addition to the classical DVI format. This means that the added possibilities of pdfTeX and dvipdfm are explained where they are relevant. A separate Chapter 13 on PostScript and PDF is still necessary, and the hyperref package, the best interface for PDF output with all its bells and whistles, is explained in detail. PDF is also included in Chapter 17 on presentation material.

    On the other hand, the other Web output formats, HTML and LaTeX Web Companion.
  5. This book is being distributed with a modified version of one of the CDs from the TeX Live set. It contains a full TeX and LaTeX installation for Windows, Macintosh OSX, and Linux, plus many of the myriad extensions that exist. We once again express our hope that this Guide will prove more than useful to all those who wish to find their way through the intricate world of LaTeX. And with the addition of the included TeX Live CD, that world is brought even closer to their doorsteps.

Helmut Kopka and Patrick W. Daly September 2003

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Table of Contents

I Basics 1
1 Introduction 3
2 Text, Symbols, and Commands 21
3 Document Layout and Organization 41
4 Displaying Text 63
5 Text in Boxes 85
6 Tables 101
7 Mathematical Formulas 121
8 Graphics Inclusion and Color 153
9 Floating tables and figures 169
10 User Customizations 181
II Beyond the Basics 203
11 Document Management 205
12 Bibliographic Databases and BibT[subscript E]X 227
13 PostScript and PDF 241
14 Multilingual LaTeX 263
15 Math Extensions with AmS-LaTeX 269
16 Drawing with LaTeX 297
17 Presentation Material 319
18 Letters 345
App. A The New Font Selection Scheme 361
App. B Installing and Maintaining LaTeX 375
App. C Error Messages 395
App. D LaTeX Programming 427
App. E LaTeX and the World Wide Web 455
App. F Obsolete LaTeX 463
App. G: Command Summary 467
Bibliography 557
Index 559
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Four years after the release of LATEX 2E and almost as long since the appearance of the second edition of A Guide to LATEX, the time is ripe to consider a third edition. How has LATEX changed in this interval? What has to be altered in the book?

First of all, LATEX 2E is now well established as the official version of LATEX; for this reason the title of this book reverts to the original form used for the first edition. (The second edition was titled A Guide to LATEX 2E to emphasize that it covered the new LATEX.) Nevertheless, we continue to point out those features that are exclusive to LATEX 2 E and which were not available under version 2.09.

LATEX is upgraded every six months. The first few updates to LATEX 2E saw a number of important changes, but now it has become very stable, at least for standard features at the user level. Improvements and changes occur mostly at deeper levels, or in supporting packages. For example, the number of input encoding tables and graphics drivers has steadily increased. The 256-character DC fonts have now been replaced by their EC equivalents. However, the major change since 1994 is the prevalence of the Internet and World Wide Web; new programs are now available to enable LATEX documents to be 'put online'. These do not reflect changes to LATEX itself but rather to the entire LATEX environment and its applications. This is now dealt with in Section D.4.

A new edition provides an opportunity to reorganize much material, to change emphasis, and to correct mistakes. In this light, we have decided that the importation of graphics files is no longer an extension for advanced users, but a basic part ofLATEXapplication. The usage has become standardized; many problems have been identified and solved. Thus a very detailed explanation of the graphics and color packages is now given in Chapter 6 and the emphasis on the LATEX picture environment has been reduced.

The use of PostScript fonts has also become more relevant, to such an extent that Computer Modern fonts are no longer the hallmark of a LATEX document. Appendix F (TEX Fonts) has been revised to reflect this.

Several example packages in Appendix C (LATEX programming) have been removed, in particular those dealing with language adaptation and author-year citations. These examples contained far too much TEX code to be appropriate as demonstrations, and their usefulness as packages is questionable considering the widespread availability of the babel and natbib packages. As compensation, a new package is offered for redefining the sectioning commands.

It has always been our intention only to describe the standard LATEX features, and not to elaborate on many of the excellent contributed packages available. This is not because we consider them to be inferior; on the contrary, a large number of them are indispensable and should be part of any standard installation. It is simply that we must limit the material in this book somehow, and these packages are dealt with elsewhere, for example in the LATEX Companion (Goosens et al., 1994) and LATEX Graphics Companion (Goosens et al., 1997). We have decided to make two exceptions. Many of the 'tools' packages mentioned in Section D.3.3 are now described in the main text where their application would be most appropriate. Packages like multicol, array, longtable should be used in everyday situations, and are by no means exotic.

The amsmath and amsfonts packages are the other exception. An overview to these important mathematical tools is now provided in Appendix E and tables of the extra AMS symbol fonts are given on pages 5525 54. For mathematical typesetting, these additional commands must also be considered indispensable.

We feel the changes will make this book even more relevant and applicable to the effective production of high-class documents with LATEX.

Helmut Kopka and Patrick W. Daly
September 1998

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2002

    Best All Around LaTeX Book

    This book provides a resonable introduction for beginners, but is much more useful to moderately advanced and very advanced users of LaTeX. The book is well structured with chapters and sections that describe exactly how to accomplish a given task. This book is a wonderful and easy to use reference on the LaTeX markup language. If you are looking for a quality book on LaTeX, buy this book. If you are a beginner to LaTeX, take your time and explore the first few chapters carefully. Take the time to duplicate some of the examples before trying your own documents. Don't let the concepts intimidate you, and you will be a moderately advanced user before you realize it!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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