Take the 2-minute tour ×
TeX - LaTeX Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of TeX, LaTeX, ConTeXt, and related typesetting systems. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm looking to use LaTeX for my technical documentation needs (such as reference manuals, user guides, etc). Could I use your template to quickly get started in order to avoid being overwhelming by the LaTeX world... tons of packages and control sequences. At minimum, I will need a template for Table of Contents, figures, tables, Index, Glossary. Any other goodies would be welcome too.

Also, any good (and free) front-ends? I'm thinking of going with Lyx but not sure if there are any better alternatives.

Finally, has anyone got any experience with the DITA and LaTeX? If I understand it correctly, DITA is for building 'configurable documentation', one that you can sew together from individual, independently written pieces written in XML. If you those pieces were in LaTeX instead, I guess you could use the two together.

The technical documentation is for software, btw.

share|improve this question
    
if you search this website a bit, you will find a lot of recommendations for front-ends. For example, tex.stackexchange.com/questions/339/latex-editors-ides has quite a few answers. For your third question about DITA, I suggest you split it off as a separate question, especially since it is not covered by the title of this post. –  Willie Wong Oct 7 '10 at 11:57
    
Individual questions should be asked separately. –  TH. Oct 7 '10 at 12:33
    
For the first question, look at tex.stackexchange.com/questions/2339/… - a question that didn't receive a whole lot of attention at the time. Many of the core Context crowd care about using XML documents as input; some resources are available at wiki.contextgarden.net/XML –  Charles Stewart Oct 8 '10 at 12:13

2 Answers 2

up vote 25 down vote accepted

You may find the refman class a good starting point; it's designed to be an all-in-one package for technical reference manuals.

Having said that, I use memoir for my technical manuals. It's very customisable, and many people have published such customisations, for example, these chapter styles. The last manual I wrote used a slightly modified version of one of these chapter styles, along with a slightly tweaked page style to give larger margins for handwritten and margin notes.

The manual for memoir is widely regarded as a great document to read in its own right, having good information on typesetting in general, and defining useful terminology in a way that's easy to read.

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks Jeremy, your answer was very helpful! –  Harry Oct 7 '10 at 7:37
    
yes! the memoir manual is chalk full of yummy information, even if you're not interested in tex. –  Mica Oct 25 '10 at 22:35

I don't have a empty document to put here right now, but start with a article

\documentclass[10pt,a4paper]{article}

Then include some packages (http://tex.stackexchange.com/questions/553/what-packages-do-people-load-by-default-in-latex)

\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
\usepackage[english]{babel}
\usepackage[english]{isodate}
\usepackage[parfill]{parskip}

Then include some tables.

\pagenumbering{Roman}
\tableofcontents
\newpage
\listoffigures
\newpage
\listoftables
\newpage
\pagenumbering{arabic}

Then you start to write...

/Have fun

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks Johan, your answer was very helpful! Don't have enough 'reputation' to upvote you. –  Harry Oct 7 '10 at 7:38
4  
Since you will document SW, don't forget that tools like doxygen can create LaTeX based pdf as well, it is a nice complement to the traditional documentation. –  Johan Oct 7 '10 at 13:34
1  
@Harry: you upvote if you are signed in, when you will have the required 1 reputation. –  Charles Stewart Oct 8 '10 at 12:14
    
@Charles: Ok, upvoted. Thanks. –  Harry Oct 11 '10 at 12:07

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.