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TeX

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John Burt, coordinator


Description of the Software

TeX is a compiled typesetting language for producing beautiful books and articles, as well as PowerPoint-like presentations, letters, business cards, and other kinds of documents. TeX is especially adept at typesetting complicated mathematics.

Camera-ready output can be in either PostScript or Adobe PDF format. Utilities are available to convert between TeX and RTF, XML, and HTML. TeX justifies TeXt by paragraph, rather than by line, producing superior justification, and adds features of fine typesetting, such as kerning and ligatures. TeX understands the special hyphenation rules of many languages, and can set in Arabic, Hebrew, Devanagari and other scripts as well.

The TeX format, LaTeX, provides the structures for large documents, such as tables of contents, sectioning, cross-references, footnotes, endnotes, and running headers. New features can be defined at will, and a large library of such features is available on the Internet. It includes BibTeX, a bibliography-management program analogous to Endnote, and MakeIndex, an index-management program which can be used with LaTeX or with printer's galleys.

Join the Local User Group and Mailing List

Questions about the use of TeX should be directed to the Brandeis-Boston TeX User Group. If you would like to join the local Brandeis-Boston TeX User Group, email user group coordinator John Burt at texlatex@brandeis.edu. Additional information may also be sought through the national TeX user's group, at http://www.tug.org

Ask to join the Brandeis-Boston TeX User Group mailing list:

  1. Click on the following link: https://lists.brandeis.edu/wws/subrequest/tex-users
  2. Brandeis community members: enter your UNet ID in the email address field, hit submit, and enter your UNet password in the subsequent password field.
  3. Off campus users: enter your email address in the email address field and hit submit.
  4. Your request to join will be forwarded to the TeX User Group coordinator and an email will be sent to you when you are added to the list.

How to Acquire and Install TeX

Full free installations of the TeX typesetting systems are available for Windows, OSX, UNIX, VMS, and other operating systems from the Comprehensive TeX Archive Network, at http://ctan.tug.org. In addition, proprietary implementations with special features from many venders are available for most operating systems. Pointers to popular free installations under Windows, OSX and UNIX can be found below. These systems usually include a free, TeX oriented TeXt editor.

The TeX User's Group has links to the locations on CTAN (the Comprehensive TeX Archive Network) for several simple, everything included installations, so rather than buy the DVD in bulk we might just put up the links on our webpage.

First, to the TeX User's Group
http://www.tug.org

To download ProTeXt, for Windows http://www.tug.org/proTeXt (includes the free TeXnicenter editor, and a starter version of the WinEdt editor, both LaTeX oriented TeXt editors)

To download MacTeX, for OSX http://www.tug.org/macTeX (includes the TeXshop editor, compatible with the free Wordwrangler editor, and the AlphaX editor, a programming environment for TeX and many other languages)

To download teTeX, for UNIX http://www.tug.org/teTeX (you should also learn how to use the emacs editor, with AucTeX, a set of TeX oriented customizations)

For other systems on Windows, UNIX, OSX, VMS or what have you, as well as fonts, style packages, formats, utilities, and so on, check out the Comprehensive TeX Archive Network at http://ctan.tug.org

TeX Resources

Introductory materials by Brandeis users:

Links to user guides, FAQ's and online information:

Books about TeX and LaTeX:

  • Frank Mittelbach, Michel Goossens, with Johannes Braams, David Carlisle, and Chris Rowley. The LaTeX companion, 2nd ed. Reading: Addison Wesley, 2004. ISBN 0201362996
  • Helmut Kopka, Patrick W. Daly. Guide to LaTeX, 4th ed. Reading: Addison Wesley, 2004. ISBN 0321173856 (the book most people use to learn LaTeX)
  • Michel Goosens, S. P. Q. Raht. The LaTeX Web Companion: Integrating TeX, HTML, and XML. Reading: Addison Wesley, 2004. ISBN 0201433117
  • Michel Goossens, Sebastian Rahtz, Frank Mittelbach. The LaTeX Graphics Companion: Illustrating Documents with TeX and Postscript. Reading: Addison Wesley, 1997. ISBN 0201854694
  • D. F. Griffiths, D. J. Higham. Learning LaTeX. Philadelphia: SIAM, 1997. ISBN 0898713838
  • George A. Graetzer. Math into LaTeX. Boston: Birhauser, 2000. ISBN 0817641319
  • Leslie Lamport. LaTeX: A Document Preparation System, 2nd ed. Reading: Addison Wesley, 1994. (Lamport is the original author of LaTeX, and a Brandeis Ph. D.)

    For TeX proper
  • Donald E. Knuth. The TeXbook. Reading: Addison Wesley, 1984. ISBN 0201134489 (despite the date, the absolutely crucial book. Knuth is the author of TeX.)
  • David Salomon. The advanced TeXbook. New York: Springer, 1995. ISBN 0387945563

Find Technology eBooks

  • ITPro - Provides full-text access to over 4,000 ebooks on over 100 different technology topics
  • Safari Tech Books Online - Provides full-text access to hundreds of ebooks on information technology and software programming published by O'Reilly, Sams, Que, and others
  • Search LOUIS using the subject words "tex computer file" and/or "latex computer file".

Other Questions about TeX

Please direct other questions about TeX at Brandeis University, including comments about the information on this page, to user group coordinator John Burt, at texlatex@brandeis.edu.