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A Brief Introduction to the LaTeX Typesetting Environment


  1. Introduction   (May 7, 2012)
  2. Typesetting: The Basics   (May 7, 2012)
  3. Writing a Document from a Template   (May 7, 2012)

Status of BookEdit

Entire Book: [ ] Individual chapters status' listed in contents

Purpose of This BookEdit

The purpose of this book is to give a person who has never used the LaTeX environment before a crash-course in how to create a simple document quickly. We will not go into the details of more complicated things LaTeX can do, but instead will focus on the use of templates and the basic principles of what is going on behind the scenes. Ideally a beginner will be able to read the first few chapters and produce a document in the course of a few hours, then being proficient in the language henceforth.

This book is also intended as a general reference to the simpler functions, declarations, and predefined control-sequences used in the LaTeX environment. Appendices will offer the reader an easy, logically ordered way of looking up the commands they want to find with examples where relevant.

On ReferencesEdit

Using a project like Wikipedia or Wikibooks as the platform for a novel introduces the opportunity for a lot of new and wonderful concepts. First of all the book is a living one, there's no need to go buy a new edition if something changes or if typos are found and corrected, they'll be available online immediately.

The most useful feature, in the author's humbler opinion, is the ability to add live references to literally every word of the document. While that won't be the case in this book, there will be references where necessary. The further reading section has links to more in-depth texts available online while certain keywords or concepts may link to their respective webpages or articles about them. At the same time, to add to the validity of each entry, references will be made and rather than looking them up yourself as in a normal, printed book, one can simply click the link and be taken to the reference.

Primarily this novel references Wikimedia Foundation websites such as Wikipedia or Wikibooks. Since these are live, anonymously edited pages one would normally think that their validity is questionable. Note however that each of these pages references further pages which are generally of the sort that are considered reliable.

In short, a majority of references in this book link to Wikipedia which is not in and of itself a reliable reference. If you question the validity of a statement in the references used in this book check the external links or references at the bottom of the page and you should find the verification you're looking for.