Reference : A Practical Guide to LaTeX Tips and Tricks
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Engineering, computing & technology : Computer science
A Practical Guide to LaTeX Tips and Tricks
[fr] Un Guide Pratique Aux Trucs et Astuces pour LaTeX
Merciadri, Luca mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > > > 1re an. bac. sc. ing., or. ing. civil]
Fourth edition (Winter 2011)
[en] LaTeX ; Tips ; Tricks
[en] LaTeX is a beautiful programming language. One sometimes wants to write in an easy and quick way various documents, such as letters, papers, reports, theses, and so on. Here, “one” can be a new student, an old professor, or even somebody who is not linked at all with any academic stuff.
We often want special constructs in our documents. This is more difficult than basic typesetting, especially using LaTeX when you are not experienced.
On one hand, scientists do not always have the time to learn another programming language, especially if they are making a PhD, or doing something else which asks for a lot of time. Using direct and working programming tricks can speed up your productivity, and make you learning better. But where can they be found?
On the other hand, everybody wants to make nice documents, if possible.
A nicer document attracts the reader. Evidently, “a nice document” is a subjective notion. By “nice document,” we want to speak about a document which
1. is structured in an unambiguous way, and has a clear presentation,
2. is read with pleasure, if possible.
The beginner, whoever he is, often faces strange errors because he tries to teach LaTeX to do what he wants it to do. It is difficult to learn the advanced notions about LaTeX, even in an average period of time. The good books have to be found. But that is often the moment where you lack of time and that you are happy to find complete solutions. That is a moment where you tell to yourself “Is there no folk out there to give me such a trivial tip?” but nobody hears it. The aim of this book, is to avoid you these problems: you do not need to write everything from scratch, ask on various forums or Usenet groups, or even read heaps of books just to make a simple script. That is my goal. You
can now continue writing your document in LaTeX’s philosophy: concentrating
on your document’s content, at the place of its appearence.
These reasons justify the presence of this book. I have tried to pack the most useful tricks which can enhance your documents’ content in a concise way. The aim is not to teach LaTeX programming, but to give a quick reference to all the tips and tricks that can be used if you are encountering a (difficult) problem, or simply facing a question which you cannot find the answer to.
I consider that the reader is familiar with basic LATEX programming. It can be learnt from various sources (given in this book's bibliography), and many others.
I hope this will give you new ideas about advanced ways to typeset text and to make different processes automatic, thus giving you more time for other activities. Many others subjects were added during Fall 2010.
Researchers ; Professionals ; Students

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