[nSLUG] Learning TEX

Scott Syms scottsyms at gmail.com
Tue May 29 08:12:16 ADT 2007


Two really good "LaTex IDE's" are TeXnicCenter (http:// 
www.toolscenter.org/ ->Windows) and Kile (http:// 
kile.sourceforge.net/ ->Linux).

They provide syntax colouring, access to the most common functions  
through drop down menus, outlining, easy pdf generation, etc.  And  
unlike Lyx, you're always working with your source.

tks

S

On 29-May-07, at 6:35 AM, George N. White III wrote:

> On 5/29/07, Mike Spencer <mspencer at tallships.ca> wrote:
>>
>> So: if one wants to learn and start using TEX, what's the entry  
>> point?
>
> For most people LaTeX, a macro package for TeX that uses high-level
> markup (e.g., \section, \subsection, \textit{...}, etc).  LaTeX is
> used by the majority of maths publishers.   If you are doing journal
> articles and
> reports with lots of maths it is probably what you want.
>
> "Plain" TeX, the subect of Knuth's book, is what you need to implement
> a macro package.  There are a number of such packages that target
> niche markets where LaTeX is not suited.
>
> For LaTeX you can start with the online introductions.  Most academic
> users start with the source of some article their thesis supervisor
> wrote and use it as boilerplate.  Eventually you will need "The LaTeX
> Companion", a comprehensive resource, as probably the "The LaTeX
> Graphics Companion" if you do much graphics.
>
> You should know that teTeX, the original TeX packageon most l;inux
> distros, is no longer being maintained.  The Tex Users Groups
> collaborate to produce TeX Live (last release in Feb. this year) which
> is starting to repalce teTeX.  Currently much of the effort is  
> going to
> better support for Eastern languages (unicode, etc.) and also "luatex"
> which will be tex with an embeded lua interpreter that will be used to
> preform auxilary processing (generating and sorting indexes,
> extracting bibliographic entries from a database, interfaces to
> databases for creating data tables, etc.).
>
> Watch out for obsolete documentation -- TeX was there at the start of
> the internet and there are lots of older documents that google can
> find but which aren't relevant to current TeX systems.  In particular,
> most modern TeX systems do not need .dvi files and metafont fonts
> (they
> use PostScript Type 1 or OpenType fonts, and generate pdf output  
> directly).
>
> -- 
> George N. White III <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
> Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia
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