{documentation} is for questions addressing issues related to the writing of documenting TeX packages, or to packages designed for documenting TeX code, e.g., ltxdoc.

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71
votes
16answers
2k views

What needs to be introduced in a short introduction to LaTeX?

One of the things listed at the How you can help in the TeX community page of the TUG website is: We'd like to have an ‘introduction to LaTeX’ document that falls somewhere between the brevity of ...
66
votes
6answers
3k views

What is the minimum one needs to know to use TikZ?

I am fed up with the poor quality of the pictures in the papers written by my graduate students and am trying to convince them to use TikZ. I know of three ways to begin learning TikZ: The TikZ ...
64
votes
17answers
2k views

Which manuals are on your “TeX Reference” shelf?

This is a community wiki since there is no "one true answer"- if you find an answer that contains a lot of your choices, but is missing something you feel is incredibly useful. Feel free to add it. ...
58
votes
12answers
2k views

Best practices references

What resources (online or otherwise) exist that give good advice on best practices for TeX, etc.? I'm looking particularly for things that assume you already know TeX or LaTeX, and aim to help you ...
50
votes
2answers
2k views

Documentation reference for LaTeX internal commands?

This question led to a new package: macros2e Is there a place where I can find a reference of LaTeX internal commands? For example, just a few months ago I saw an answer using \@for and today I ...
49
votes
6answers
3k views

Materials for learning TikZ

I feel intimidated in learning TikZ. I was wondering if there are some nice materials (or just your replies) at different level: for providing big picture, which is important to beginners to not ...
36
votes
1answer
1k views

An explanation of LaTeX's output routine

Is there a good reference for LaTeX's output routine? The documented source is confused and confusing. The authors seem confused as to why parts are the way they are and wonder if maybe things should ...
35
votes
5answers
596 views

Which books can I read via texdoc?

For years, I was faithfully downloading a copy of TeX by Topic whenever I reinstalled my computer. Then I learnt about texdoc texbytopic and my life got just that smidgen easier. I've just returned ...
33
votes
3answers
2k views

Different approach to literate programming for LaTeX

I have spent a couple of hours rethinking the literate style tools we have for LaTeX, which are essentially doc, docstrip and ltxdoc. Although the traditional workflow with a good editor can be less ...
32
votes
1answer
1k views

Glossary of TeX and LaTeX terms

This is not about glossary package. :-) I was wondering whether there is a list of common terms you come across as a not-so-advanced user, defined already. Currently what we have are many books ...
31
votes
5answers
558 views

How to build two different .tex files from same .tex file

When I prepare an exercise list for my students I use to also include there my own solutions. I prepare these documents with some macros based on mdframed and with comment help I easily obtain two ...
30
votes
2answers
1k views

What are good advanced LaTeX books?

I've been using LaTeX for about 3 months, and I'm hooked. My background is programming, so for the basic, google is sufficient. I did some research on amazon.com and found these two books with many ...
27
votes
2answers
726 views

Moving to LaTeX3 for package authors

I would like to write a package using as much of LaTeX3 stuff as possible (in particular expl3, xparse and xtemplate). What should I read to learn these? In particular: I know that there are good ...
26
votes
2answers
1k views

Help in choosing LaTeX2e books in light of LaTeX3 development

I'm quite new to LaTeX (~3 months) and I'm excited about buying the books. I just bought The TeXbook on eBay and hopefully it should arrive next week. I might even want to get a printed copy of TeX by ...
26
votes
4answers
8k views

TikZ manual newest version online?

Is there a definite place where TikZ manual can be found online? I am only finding version 2.00, while I keep loosing the link to 2.10. Does the official site host the manual somewhere, or is it ...
22
votes
3answers
1k views

Classes for LaTeX documentation

I wonder which classes are available to typeset LaTeX manuals. Until now I have used ltxdoc. I’m satisfied with its functions but not with its layout/design and it’s not really flexible when writing ...
21
votes
6answers
2k views

Where can I find help files or documentation for commands like \@startsection for LaTeX?

I can't find official documentation for the \@startsection command. I already looked in: LaTeX Wikibook LaTeX: Structured document for TEX, 2008 beginLatex — a book that comes with ProTeX in the ...
21
votes
1answer
722 views

How do I document my style files?

I have many style files (and one or two class files) that I've written in my local texmf tree. Most were simple things that got me out of some trouble and which I put in to a style file in case I ...
18
votes
1answer
242 views

Plain TeX online documentation/references?

I am a non-beginner plain TeX user, mostly typesetting cheat sheets for computer science. I own The TeXbook and have seen some TeX manuals for the compilers, such as pdfTeX manuals and so forth. My ...
17
votes
3answers
291 views

Where can I find a documentation for low-level tex conditionals like \if?

I want to understand low-level stuff like \if better. I'm not looking for some random examples off Google showing me some statements but a specification of some sort - something mean and unforgiving. ...
17
votes
1answer
2k views

Berry naming scheme list of LaTeX font families

Could you provide me with a list of Berry names for LaTeX font families? I am currently working on a paper comparing various LaTeX fonts, particularly their support of extended Latin and it took some ...
16
votes
2answers
679 views

Where can I find the LaTeX3 manual?

Few month ago I saw a big pdf-manual of all LaTeX3-packages and the new syntax. I think it was bigger than 300 pages. I can't find it on the web. Does anyone have a link?
16
votes
1answer
141 views

Should a \CharacterTable still be used in dtx files?

My understanding of the use of a \CharacterTable in .dtx files is that it provides a visual check that the file was transmitted properly and there were no issues with character encodings. Is it still ...
15
votes
3answers
679 views

Tutorial on positioning

As a beginner, I keep running into difficulties when in the need of positioning elements. Pushing them down, up, left or right should be easy concepts, but I find it hard to visualize as a beginner ...
15
votes
1answer
406 views

Are there guidelines on how to read commented sources of LaTeX packages?

I'm trying to read source2e.pdf (texdoc source2e on the command line), but I'm stumped. It seems a rather mysterious tome to me. As I understand from this answer about what arguments a command ...
14
votes
2answers
764 views

What font configuration is used by microtype documentation

I really like the font configuration (appearance) of the documentation for microtype package (see here). How do I find out the combination they're using? (I will fix the protrusion etc later but first ...
14
votes
4answers
369 views

LaTeX, package documentation look-up

I am on OS X (10.6 Snow Leopard) using TeXLive-2011 to typeset a simple .tex file I am editing in Vim and trying to learn. My problem is: how do I... gradually learn about what TeX can do for me get ...
14
votes
1answer
465 views

Automatic linking (aka code highlight) in Till Tantau's `codeexample`

I am writing docs for a tikz-based package, and I am trying to reuse Till Tantau's codeexample environment to output source code along with its output. However, I cannot manage to get syntax ...
13
votes
3answers
273 views

Comprehensive online manual for LaTeX2e user macros and environments

I find myself sometimes in the position that I need to know the "official" syntax and behavior of LaTeX2e user macros or environments. I'm talking about common things like minipage. Usually I find ...
13
votes
3answers
801 views

Google searching LaTeX commands?

Q: How can I best search the web for exact LaTeX commands (e.g., \show as opposed to show)? It appears that Google will not allow us to escape the \ character. So, searches for \show are interpreted ...
13
votes
3answers
286 views

Free intermediate level documentation

Are there any free manuals that are roughly on the level of Lamport, Mittelbach & Goossens, Kopka & Daly, etc.; more in-depth than the Not So Short Introduction to LaTeX, but not as daunting ...
13
votes
2answers
304 views

PSTricks: What are the Learning Tutorials/Guides available for new users with hierarchical steps?

I am looking for materials for PSTricks learning in similar vein to Materials for learning TikZ I am always interested to learn PSTricks through our famous Just for fun PSTricks User animated ...
13
votes
1answer
376 views

How to write a user manual for a class in two languages?

Most classes and packages on ctan, offer a .dtx file, which when processed will automatically produce a user manual. In most cases such classes use the author's mother language. As for example yfonts ...
12
votes
6answers
1k views

Is there some typesetting system that uses XML notation?

Is there some typesetting system that uses XML for notation? This is no offense, but I don't like to type \emph{This \emph{text} is important} despite the fact that there are editors that can do it ...
12
votes
3answers
573 views

Is there a printable version of a reference manual for all TeX primitives?

Everywhere in the TeX community, I see suggestions like \parskip, \obeylines, \parindent, etc. I'd be surprised not to find them even in the most basic LaTeX packages. So I figured they must be deeper ...
12
votes
2answers
474 views

Is there a list of general use LaTeX kernel macros?

Here are a few cases in which one could use such a list: Is there a "prepend" version of \g@addto@macro? A "local" version? What's the most efficient way of gobbling n characters? Can I use LaTeX's ...
11
votes
1answer
638 views

Who wrote “What are TeX, LaTeX, and friends?”

Who wrote What are TeX, LaTeX, and friends? I want to reference it in my article.
11
votes
2answers
263 views

Dummies Guide to TeX as a programming language

There are a lot of answers that are using a somehow cryptic syntax that I am not familiar with. Is there any Not So Short Introduction to TeX (like Not So Short Introduction to LaTeX) ?!
11
votes
2answers
245 views

hyperref causes problem with doc.sty

Try the following code. Without hyperref everything is fine and there’s the right entry in the index. With hyperref this entry disappears. (The codeline entries which are not shown here ar not touched ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Is there a good plain TeX tutorial that explains about doing automation and making layout?

I am interested in learning plain TeX especially in automation: looping, conditional branching, jumping, iterating, etc. layout: creating custom smart tables and boxes that can span cross pages. ...
11
votes
2answers
251 views

What is “dimen” in the documentation for the ifthen package?

In the documentation for the ifthen package, there is a test called \lengthtest which compares two <dimen> parameters with the operators <, > or =. (For other test commands, <dimen> ...
11
votes
3answers
365 views

Updated documentation of ConTeXt

I'm trying to decide which set of macros/typesetting system to learn. I tried Latex2e for a while, but I was very disappointed that it didn't work nicely with Unicode and that in my tryout I had many ...
11
votes
3answers
742 views

Can I enter code directly from a source file?

In a project I'm working, all the files are in the same folder (source codes, papers, images, etc). In the documentation, I'm including some code with minted which is really great, but I want to do ...
11
votes
2answers
3k views

Does anyone know a good XeTeX tutorial?

I want to use XeTeX so that I can use a particular font, but I'm not quite sure about the documentation/commands in specifying this font in XeTeX. Can anyone point me to a good how-to tutorial on ...
11
votes
1answer
103 views

Parsing commands with multiple optional arguments

Some LaTeX commands accept multiple optional arguments. Here are some examples: \makebox[<width>][<pos>]{<text>} \framebox[<width>][<pos>]{<text>} ...
10
votes
2answers
421 views

Any way to show LaTeX example code *and* execute it? [duplicate]

In (La)TeX documentation and tutorials, it is common to show a snippet of code next to the output it generates. It might be two minipages side by side, or a code listing followed by boxed output, or ...
10
votes
1answer
76 views

How do I use l3docstrip?

I've got a bundle I'd like to properly document (and begin to release) that uses expl3 intimately, and it should be documented similarly to expl3 itself (as seen in texdoc interface3. I did a little ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

Old style numbers without fontspec

How do I use old style numbers everywhere without using fontspec? Or is it even possible? Where do I find the documentation for the fonts in the LaTeX Font Catalogue? Minimum (Non)Working Example: ...
10
votes
2answers
326 views

Starting point for getting more familiar with TeX/LaTex etc

Background: I've been using what I would call LaTex for ~4 yrs to typeset assignments, reports, essays and tutorial notes. I have been using "TexShop" (for Macs) - mostly because it was simple when I ...
9
votes
2answers
287 views

Where to find official (!) and extended documentation for tex/latex's commandline options (especially -interaction modes)?

Today I tried to learn more about the several interaction modes for tex/latex/pdflatex etc. The manpages turned out to be not very helpful: $ man tex ... -interaction mode Sets the ...