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A Guide to LATEX (Tools and Techniques for Computer Typesetting) [Paperback]

Helmut Kopka , Patrick W. Daly
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
Price: £40.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

25 Nov 2003 0321173856 978-0321173850 4

Published Nov 25, 2003 by Addison-Wesley Professional. Part of the Tools and Techniques for Computer Typesetting series. The series editor may be contacted at frank.mittelbach@latex-project.org. LaTeX is the text-preparation system of choice for scientists and academics, and is especially useful for typesetting technical materials. This popular book shows you how to begin using LaTeX to create high-quality documents. The book also serves as a handy reference for all LaTeX users. In this completely revised edition, the authors cover the LaTeX2ε standard and offer more details, examples, exercises, tips, and tricks. They go beyond the core installation to describe the key contributed packages that have become essential to LaTeX processing.

Inside, you will find:

  • Complete coverage of LaTeX fundamentals, including how to input text, symbols, and mathematics; how to produce lists and tables; how to include graphics and color; and how to organize and customize documents
  • Discussion of more advanced concepts such as bibliographical databases and BIBTeX, math extensions with AMS-LaTeX, drawing, slides, and letters
  • Helpful appendices on installation, error messages, creating packages, using LaTeX with HTML and XML, and fonts
  • An extensive alphabetized listing of commands and their uses

New to this edition:

  • More emphasis on LaTeX as a markup language that separates content and form--consistent with the essence of XML
  • Detailed discussions of contributed packages alongside relevant standard topics
  • In-depth information on PDF output, including extensive coverage of how to use the hyperref package to create links, bookmarks, and active buttons

As did the three best-selling editions that preceded it, Guide to LaTeX, Fourth Edition, will prove indispensable to anyone wishing to gain the benefits of LaTeX.

The accompanying CD-ROM is part of the TeX Live set distributed by TeX Users Groups, containing a full LaTeX installation for Windows, MacOSX, and Linux, as well as many extensions, including those discussed in the book.



0321173856B10162003

Frequently Bought Together

A Guide to LATEX (Tools and Techniques for Computer Typesetting) + The Latex Companion + The LATEX Graphics Companion: Illustrating Documents with TEX and Postscript (Tools and Techniques for Computer Typesetting)
Price For All Three: £116.84

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Product details

  • Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Addison Wesley; 4 edition (25 Nov 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321173856
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321173850
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 19 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 386,764 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

LaTeX is the text-preparation system of choice for scientists and academics, and is especially useful for typesetting technical materials. This popular book shows you how to begin using LaTeX to create high-quality documents. The book also serves as a handy reference for all LaTeX users. In this completely revised edition, the authors cover the LaTeX2e standard and offer more details, examples, exercises, tips, and tricks. They go beyond the core installation to describe the key contributed packages that have become essential to LaTeX processing.

Inside, you will find:

  • Complete coverage of LaTeX fundamentals, including how to input text, symbols, and mathematics; how to produce lists and tables; how to include graphics and color; and how to organize and customize documents
  • Discussion of more advanced concepts such as bibliographical databases and BIBTeX, math extensions with AMS-LaTeX, drawing, slides, and letters
  • Helpful appendices on installation, error messages, creating packages, using LaTeX with HTML and XML, and fonts
  • An extensive alphabetized listing of commands and their uses

New to this edition:

  • More emphasis on LaTeX as a markup language that separates content and form--consistent with the essence of XML
  • Detailed discussions of contributed packages alongside relevant standard topics
  • In-depth information on PDF output, including extensive coverage of how to use the hyperref package to create links, bookmarks, and active buttons

As did the three best-selling editions that preceded it, Guide to LaTeX, Fourth Edition, will prove indispensable to anyone wishing to gain the benefits of LaTeX.

The accompanying CD-ROM is part of the TeX Live set distributed by TeX Users Groups, containing a full LaTeX installation for Windows, MacOSX, and Linux, as well as many extensions, including those discussed in the book.



0321173856B10162003

About 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.



0321173856AB10162003

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
This book is ideal for any beginner in LaTeX who does not want to be thrown into the deep end, but rather wants a gentle but nevertheless detailed introduction to the programming of LaTeX documents. I found it helpful to read through the first few chapters describing the history and context of the TeX and LaTeX systems, and henceforth have simply used it as a reference guide whenever I want to insert things like tables, enumeration lists, and other document classes.
This book took me from complete beginner to allowing me to write my university project on it with ease and elegance. The appendices, in particular the reference and the list of mathematical symbols, are particularly useful.
For under £30 this book is superb.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended 11 Feb 2004
Format:Paperback
This is a very good book, well laid out and itself a good advertisement for the typesetting potential of LaTeX. I particularly like the quick-reference appendix, giving a list of all the most commonly used commands and cross-referenced to the parts of the main volume where they are described in more detail.
Nearly all of the needs of the average LaTeX user are, it seems to me, addressed concisely and clearly (and, as far as I can see, without the duplication which was reportedly a feature of previous editions of the book). Coverage of add-on packages is not exhaustive, nor is it meant to be, but is integrated naturally into the core language description. Relatively advanced techniques, such as producing hyper-referenced PDF documents and incorporating graphics, are also featured.
I don't have any criticisms of the authors' decision not to include any detail on how to go about producing one's LaTeX sources. One of the beauties of the whole system is its independence of any particular editing environment. If you like, you can edit your documents on a machine where LaTeX isn't even installed. I think Kopka and Daly were wise to restrict their advice on the subject to a cursory mention of a few popular editors and leave the documentation of those to their respective authors.
If I have any grumble at all, it would be that the tone is rather dry - not much humour to be had. But overall, a very satisfactory purchase.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Confused style, may be unsuitable for beginners. 23 Feb 2004
Format:Paperback
I am a very occasional LaTeX user, who often goes for a couple of years without needing to typeset anything. As such I need to be reminded of the basics (details of commands etc) from time to time, but also require a comprehensive reference as I tend to use a lot of maths & graphics.
At the moment I am attempting to help someone else learn how to use LaTeX.
I ordered a copy of this book after mislaying an old copy of Antoni Diller's excellent "LaTex: Line by line", and being unable to get my hands on a replacement.
The layout of the introductory chapters seems unnecessarily confused, for example I find out how to specify distances in didot points (p19), and how to insert dagger symbols (p21) before seeing any significant amount of example source with output (title page on p37).
By chapter 3 I still haven't found a complete annotated LaTeX document. All the different parts of the preamble have been covered, but with no sense of how to combine them into a coherent whole. IMHO this is a missed opportunity.
Personally I can get by with this book because I already know how to use LaTeX, but I wouldn't recommend it for beginners. I know that I am likely to be doing more hand holding than should be necessary.
If you want a clear, well thought out introduction then try to get hold of a copy of Diller's book instead. If you can't obtain a copy of that then this one is better than nothing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
To those of your readership who know what Latex is, it is sufficient to say that this is one of the 2 standard works on the subject and well worth reading. The other is called "The Latex Companion" and is on my list for purchasing next.

The remainder of the review is for those who have never come across Latex and should be read by aspiring engineers and scientists and by typists who want high standards of output. Conventional word processors such as those in MS Office and Libre Office are "jacks of all trades ...." and are sufficient for many uses but they are not suitable for documents with complicated formulae eg mathematical, chemical or engineering. The answer is to use TEX. This is a typesetting program but it needs too much technical expertise for mortals. However, help is at hand in the shape of Latex which is an enormous collection of mini-programs based on TEX which make life easier. Lyx is a "document processor" based on Latex but its use needs some knowledge of Latex. Whilst my requirement is for maths, I quickly came to think that Latex was OK for normal use because the resulting documents look so much better on the page. Indeed, I have heard that the secretaries in a major academic institution voluntarily switched over all of their work to Latex based documents.
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