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Linux Journal: LaTeX for Linux [Review]

Sep 16, 2000, 23:59 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Ben Crowder)

"Anyone who has worked with Donald Knuth's TeX (pronounced ``teck'') or Leslie Lamport's LaTeX (``lay-teck'') can tell you that both are extremely powerful but rather intimidating. LaTeX makes things easier but it's still hard for a beginner to grasp the connection between the marked-up text and the final, printed output. Enter Bernice Sacks Lipkin's LaTeX for Linux."

"For those of you scratching your heads wondering what all this TeX and LaTeX stuff is, read on. Donald Knuth wrote TeX so he would be able to format his book, The Art of Computer Science, the way he wanted to. Rather than focusing on the aesthetics of the printed output, Knuth wanted authors to concentrate on the content of the material. As such, TeX is not a word processor where you say, ``The section heading should be larger than the other text, so I want font Becker at 14pt, and I want it centered.'' Instead, you tell TeX you want a section heading, and it automatically formats and numbers it for you. TeX is still low-level, so Leslie Lamport wrote LaTeX, a collection of higher-level TeX macros, to group some of the more common TeX commands together."

"Lipkin's book is a well-written guide to the narrow, twisting path of learning LaTeX. First, I must say that the entire book was typeset using LaTeX, and as such, it provides an excellent real-life example of the various techniques within. This is a definite boon when you're trying to figure out exactly what a certain command does."

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