# LaTeX Resources

TeX is an excellent typesetting engine created by renowned mathematician and computer scientist Professor Donald Knuth. LaTeX is Leslie Lamport’s TeX format, enabling you to access the TeX engine in a structured manner, separating content from style. LaTeX was developed by Lamport in 1985 but has since been developed and maintained by the LaTeX3 Project. If you find (La)TeX useful, please consider joining TUG or a local TeX User Group.

## 🔗 Useful Resources

Here is a list of resources you might find useful. Please note I’m not responsible for the contents of external sites.

You can use the texdoc application to access documentation installed in your TeX Live distribution. (MiKTeX provides an application with the same name for a similar purpose.) If you find it’s not picking up your operating system’s language preferences, you can set the lang variable in texdoc.cnf. You can find the location of this file using:

texdoc -f

This will tell you the recommended file for your personal settings. If it doesn’t already exist, you can create it. For example, on my Linux computer the file is ~/texmf/texdoc/texdoc.cnf and in that file I have:
lang = en

There is also an online documentation lookup at texdoc.org but take care to check the documentation date with the version details for the package you have installed.

### 🔗 General information

#### 🔗 LaTeX 3

For a while, the new LaTeX3 commands were only available by explicitly loading packages. Over the past few years, they have been designated stable and merged into the LaTeX kernel, which means those commands are now available without the need to explicitly load those package, but you still need to know which package they were provided by in order to find the documentation.

• The LaTeX Project (aka LaTeX3 Project): General overview.
• The xparse package documentation (PDF) (also available via texdoc xparse). This describes document-level commands like \NewDocumentCommand and \NewDocumentEnvironment, which are intended as replacements for \newcommand and \newenvironment.
• The xfp package documentation (PDF) (also available via texdoc xfp). This describes the commands \fpeval and \inteval, which are both expandable commands for floating point and integer arithmetic, respectively.
• The LaTeX3 Interfaces (PDF) (also available via texdoc interface3). This is the reference documentation for the low-level LaTeX3 commands that are now part of the kernel (these commands have underscores _ and colon : in the name) for package writers.
• The expl3 package and LaTeX3 programming (PDF) (also available via texdoc expl3). An introduction to LaTeX3 concepts and comparison between new and old methods.

The comprehensive reference manual can be obtained with texdoc source3 (PDF over 1600 pages long). This includes information also available in some of the above. The reference manual for LaTeX2e can be obtained with texdoc source2e, which is a PDF over 1200 pages long, and documents kernel command definitions, some of which have been changed to use the new LaTeX3 internal commands. For example, \MakeUppercase is now a protected command that internally uses \text_uppercase:n (a text manipulation command that converts to uppercase and takes a single normal argument). See also the LaTeX Project documentation page for links to other resources.

#### 🔗 Other Useful Sites

You can search for TeX/LaTeX packages or browse for topics on the Comprehensive TeX Archive Network (CTAN). If you know the name of the package, you can obtain information from the address http://ctan.org/pkg/package-name where package-name is the name of the package. For example, to find information on the glossaries package, go to http://ctan.org/pkg/glossaries.

In the past, UK-TUG had LaTeX training days. The training day materials are available on GitHub. The learnlatex.org site is an off-shoot of the training material.

### 🔗 LaTeX Books

• Helmut Kopka and Patrick W. Daly. A Guide to LaTeX. Addison-Wesley.
• Michel Goossens, Frank Mittelbach and Alexander Samarin. The LaTeX Companion. Addison-Wesley.
• Leslie Lamport. LaTeX: a Document Preparation System. Addison-Wesley.
• Michel Goossens, Sebastian Rahtz and Frank Mittelbach. The LaTeX Graphics Companion: Illustrating Documents with TeX and PostScript. Addison-Wesley.
• Michel Goossens and Sebastian Rahtz with Eitan Gurari, Ross Moore and Robert Sutor. The LaTeX Web Companion: Integrating TeX, HTML and XML. Addison-Wesley.
• Stefan Kottwitz. LaTeX Beginner’s Guide. Packt Publishing, 2011.
• Marc van Dongen. LaTeX and Friends. Springer, 2012.

### 🔗 Installation guides

The easiest way of installing TeX is to install it from the TeX Live DVD which is distributed to members of TUG. However, TeX distributions can also be downloaded from the internet.

### 🔗 Using LaTeX with other applications

#### 🔗 Automation

There are some useful tools to help automate the process of building a document. These include:

#### 🔗 Format conversions

• TeX4ht Converts LaTeX and TeX to HTML (as well as other formats.)
• TtH Translates either plain TeX or LaTeX documents to HTML.
• LaTeX2HTML Converts LaTeX documents to HTML (Perl script.)
• Hevea Converts LaTeX to HTML (written in Objective Caml.)
• lwarp Converts LaTeX to HTML. Assistance provided for conversion to EPUB and word processors.
• LaTeX2rtf Converts (limited) LaTeX to RTF.
• pdftohtml Converts PDF to HTML.

#### 🔗 Bibliography management

• JabRef Java application.
• RefDB Light weight portable application which can run on a variety of platforms.
• KBibTeX BibTeX editor for KDE.
• xbibfile written in C under Linux using the X Window System

### 🔗 Graphics

#### 🔗 Graphics applications

There are also applications that aren’t specifically drawing applications but have the capability of exporting images either as PDF or (La)TeX code. For example:
• Gnuplot
• GeoGebra can export drawings to pstricks and tikz formats
• Scribus is a desktop publishing application but can be used to create PDFs.

### 🔗 Troubleshooting

If you want to post a query to any newsgroup, forum or mailing list, make sure you first read How to ask a question. Remember that you’re more likely to get a prompt response if you provide a minimal example.

Other non-English resources may be available. Check your local TeX User Group (if one exists) for further information.

Some of the big packages (for example pgf/tikz) also have their own mailing lists or forums. If you look up the package on CTAN, it will provide a link to the package’s home page, if one exists. (However most packages don’t have one.)

### 🔗 Publishing

LaTeX is great at producing good quality documents, but a well typeset document isn’t a guarantee that you will have instant success in publishing it. If you are thinking of self-publishing or being published, be aware of the pitfalls.

Books:

• Renni Browne and Dave King. Self-Editing for Fiction Writes: How to Edit Yourself into Print. Collins 2004.
• Sandra Newman and Howard Mittelmark. How Not To Write a Novel: 200 Mistakes to Avoid at all Costs if You Ever Want to Get Published. Penguin 2009.
• Pat Walsh. 78 Reasons Why Your Book May Never be Published and 14 Reasons Why it Just Might. Penguin 2005.