A Guide to LATEX: Document Preparation for Beginners and Advanced Usersby Helmut Kopka, Patrick W. Daly
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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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 The old version 2.09 is obsolete and should no longer play any role in such a book.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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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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