{learning} is about guidance to learn new skills within the TeX universe. This reaches from macro programming, special domains like graphic composition with {tikz-pgf}, to best practices in book typesetting.

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250
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27answers
70k views

What are good learning resources for a LaTeX beginner?

Which book (free or otherwise) was the most useful to you when you started learning LaTeX? I am frequently asked this question by friends who want to learn LaTeX, and I recommend the book which got ...
90
votes
6answers
5k 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 ...
61
votes
1answer
5k views

LaTeX Introductions in languages other than English

Inspired by What is the best book to start learning LaTeX?, I thought that it might be useful to collect a list of the many brilliant introductory LaTeX books and tutorials written in languages other ...
59
votes
8answers
15k views

Best Way to Start Using LaTeX/TeX?

I'm not really a programmer but I'm quite interested in learning how to use LaTeX/TeX. I've looked it up on Wikipedia and scanned through it and the documents created through this way of editing is ...
54
votes
10answers
6k views

What is the best way to learn TeX?

As opposed to LaTeX, which is addressed in another question. Most of the references I've seen get too complex too quickly. I'm looking for something that gives me a top-down view of the language - ...
50
votes
1answer
3k views

On the basics of writing to & reading from auxiliary files (.aux, .toc, etc.)

Some actions (such as generating the Table of Contents) require two passes of the TeX compiler: during the first pass, some data get written to an auxiliary file, only to be retrieved during the ...
38
votes
5answers
6k views

Should I read Donald Knuth's The TeXbook?

I've been using LaTeX for about a year or two as part of writing reports in university and want to gain a more in-depth understanding of how it works (I'm a computer science student). Would Donald ...
37
votes
4answers
2k views

How does your mind bend \expandafter to its will?

Expansion is often cited as one of the most arcane aspects of TeX, more akin to witchcraft than to something easily picked up by the newcomer. There are many great questions and great answers about ...
36
votes
1answer
5k views

LaTeX Companion as an ebook

Apologies if this seems frivolous but I've been trying to find the LaTeX Companion 2ed by Mittelbach et al. in ebook form. Other than illegal rip-offs there doesn't seem to be anywhere I can buy it ...
32
votes
8answers
2k views

Prerequisites for using LaTeX efficiently

I am a student (still in high school) who wants to start using LaTeX more regularly, however, I have on major problem: I know nothing about computer science or computer programming. And I mean ...
27
votes
5answers
783 views

Barebones or Packages

As a relatively novice LaTeX user, is it OK to plunge right into using the helpful packages out there, or is it better to stick to core LaTeX primitives and packages so as learn the mechanics of ...
25
votes
2answers
694 views

Teaching LaTeX to visually disabled

I will teach a blind person how to use LaTeX this week. Has anyone any hints for me or package recommendations?
24
votes
2answers
2k views

Where can I find people for hire with LaTeX skills and designer skills?

I have now written my first e-book in LaTeX but, before I publish it, I wish to hire someone with superior LaTeX skills to fix the design and formatting of the book. At the moment I have tons of ...
22
votes
1answer
604 views

Quickly writing LaTeX documents

I am hoping someone can give me some help. I am very new to using latex, but I am taking a class that requires some advanced mathematical equations and also drawing of various types of tree diagrams. ...
20
votes
4answers
2k views

Now that I can run TeX on my iPad, what shall I TeX?

I have just learnt that there is a TeX implementation now on the iPad (original source this answer to Is there a (La)TeX distribution running on iPad?). As the author of the blog post I TeX therefore ...
18
votes
2answers
331 views

How can I improve my “hands-on”/ “working” knowledge of TeX's low/middle/high/higher -level control sequences?

I am not an experienced TeX/LaTeX user. I know just about enough to write my thesis. As my interest grows, I'd like to continue improving on my TeX/LaTeX knowledge, more specifically, my "working" ...
14
votes
7answers
3k views

Word 2010 on typesetting math [closed]

I tried to find that online, but all I found was: "Word bad, (La)TeX good! Word ugly, (La)TeX pretty!". I want an honest take from someone who used the new Math system in Word 2010, preferably who ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Which to learn, TeX or LaTeX?

Currently I'm good at producing neat documents (with few errors here and there) with latex, but I was wondering which one is better for me to learn, TeX or LaTeX? I am very much interested in the ...
13
votes
1answer
260 views

Understanding a certain TeX instruction

I want to understand the TeX instructions \ifx\@tempb`\edef\next##1{% Especially, I want understand what meaning of ` symbol before \edef. As I know ifx compare two statements, symbol ` for ...
12
votes
4answers
9k views

How much time does it take to learn LaTeX?

I have always used Word to write my papers. I am now interested in LaTeX. Is it hard to learn LaTeX? How much time may it require to convert my .doc to LaTeX (say about 30 pages)?
12
votes
1answer
855 views

How to get started with Bibliographies

Background Although I've been using LaTeX for over ten years, I've never really got to grips with the organisation and typesetting of bibliographies, but I've just been handed an incentive, so it's ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Examples with the purpose of learning LaTeX?

I have a basic understanding of LaTeX. But I would like to learn more through LaTeX examples or real world usage (probably commented). Where can such be found?
11
votes
2answers
378 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
167 views

LaTeX introduction books 2: “modern” documentation [closed]

Trying to help a couple of completely lost querents here, I looked around and find a couple of nice posts pointing to "introductory" documentation, like for example What are good learning resources ...
9
votes
1answer
136 views

Looking for suggestions: what should I learn next?

After a few years of trial, error, and usenet messages, I know just about all the LaTeX I really need. And my needs are modest. Most of my documents use the same template (tufte-latex), with the same ...
9
votes
0answers
238 views

“LaTeX does not work well for people who have sold their souls”? [closed]

I read the above sentence from The Not So Short Introduction to LaTeX (page 4), and couldn't get what it means. My first guess is it says people who have already got used to commercial word-editing ...
8
votes
5answers
421 views

What sequence of documents should I read to know “all of” TeX and then LaTeX?

I know that there are a already number of questions on this site about good instructional (La)TeX materials for users at different levels. What I am interested in, though, is what set of documents ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

What TeX software to write technical papers with?

I am a noob when it comes to TeX, however, I do use LaTeX for typing mathematical and engineering formulas, etc. Recently I have taken it upon myself to try and write some technical papers to try ...
8
votes
2answers
503 views

Which TeX should one start out with? [closed]

Ever since learning Vim, I've felt slow going in anything else. Lately I've been writing my notes and other small documents in Markdown using Vim. I've decided to to take it a step further by ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Is Texinfo used much except for the GNU manuals?

It looks kind of nice, but I'm not certain I should invest the time or just put LyX and org-mode away and finally learn LaTeX properly.
7
votes
2answers
131 views

Resources for learning about contributed packages

The "LaTeX2e Reference Manual" contains a lot of useful information about various commands. Is there any larger resource or book containing similar shorts descriptions of commands, but that also ...
7
votes
0answers
81 views

When should \begin{center}\end{center} ever be used? [duplicate]

I know that \begin{center}\end{center} cause excess white space so it is always suggested that \centering should be used which I use all the time. What would ever justify the use this tag? Maybe if ...
6
votes
2answers
261 views

Few questions about LaTeX as a layman

I have never used LaTeX before and do not know how to use it either. But, I know cursorily that it does similar work of writing mathematical expressions as the Mathtype in MS-Word does. My questions ...
6
votes
1answer
299 views

Are my programming skills transferable to LaTeX and TikZ?

I just want to ask what is LaTeX and TiKZ programming language like? Basically, I am looking at projects available in my final year. The project I looked at is a graphical interface to draw graphs in ...
6
votes
2answers
321 views

Learning how to use TeX for automatic layout of non-technical documents

Whenever I try to learn more about TeX or LaTeX, I am stymied by the general bias of the books and online resources I have seen, and possibly by the bias of LaTeX itself. I am not interested in using ...
5
votes
1answer
210 views

What do you call those things you use in LaTeX to format text?

I want many times to ask questions but I don't know what to call those. Are they called tags? Commands? Formatters? Example: \example{example} I know my question is general but that's what the ...
5
votes
3answers
350 views

Online references for creating advanced macros?

I am looking for online references for creating advanced macros for LaTeX.
5
votes
2answers
347 views

How to write tex4ht source files

How can I learn how to edit 4ht files? What should I read? I want to fix a number of issues in ooffice.4ht (inconsistent footnote size, style names which mismatch names used by LibreOffice, dangling ...
5
votes
1answer
534 views

Learning TeX via the TeXbook

As I most often am not able even to ask the right question, much lesser to understand answers, I have decided to read thoroughly Knuth's TeXbook. But on Appendix B--Control Sequences--I find ...
5
votes
1answer
63 views

Interactive console at terminal evaluating commands

As I'm using LaTeX (in my case xelatex), I often run into little gotchas. As a programmer from other more functional or procedural languages, it really grates me that I can't easily figure out what an ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Getting started with LaTeX - Advice needed for Mac OS X

I heard from a friend that LaTeX is much better than MS Word to write my University's dissertation on. I don't really understand why bother writing an essay in code if Word automatically does that for ...
4
votes
1answer
190 views

Differences of each version of TeXbook

I'm going to buy The TeXbook, and I have two alternatives for that: buy an old version one in a discounted price buy the newest version one in the fixed price To be honest, I would like to save ...
4
votes
1answer
30 views

\synctex=1 being an ‘Undefined control sequence’

I'm still pretty new to LaTeX; and on my home computer, I've got lualatex set up with my first few (pretty simple) LaTeX documents, Skim.app on OS X for viewing, etc etc etc … … but now that I've ...
4
votes
1answer
154 views

Are there good comprehensive lists of LaTeX commands online?

I'm relatively new to actual LaTeX scripting, much of my experience comes from using MathJax over at math.stackexchange.com and I'm kinda self-taught, just picking things up as I need them. However, ...
4
votes
1answer
88 views

Is there a good tutorial / getting-started-guide focused on the KOMA-Script way?

So, I'm pretty new to LaTeX. I've been told in many places to use KOMA-Script document-classes instead of the standard ones; but it's also been mentioned that after doing so, you can't use a plethora ...
4
votes
0answers
918 views

Why do people chose Latex for mathematical writing? [closed]

I'm trying to make the transition from Word to Latex for mathematical writing. But the more I learn about it, the less sure I am that I should make this transition. Typographical Quality For example ...
4
votes
0answers
116 views

Where‎ ‎do‎ I start ‎learning‎ conditional tests ‎in ‎LaTeX‎?‎ [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: LaTeX conditional expression I've already taken a look at ‎books‎ such as "‎Te‎X for the Impatient", but its examples aren't clear enough to me. What‎ book/tutorial ‎do‎ ...
3
votes
3answers
481 views

Can I use (LaTeX?) packages from CTAN in plain TeX?

I have the following assumptions: TeX is a kind of language Plain TeX is the original environment for this language LaTeX (and other environments) is a set of compiled macros written using TeX ...
3
votes
1answer
312 views

Getting started with TeX LaTeX? [duplicate]

What are some good resources for getting started with LaTeX? Also, what's the difference between LaTeX and TeX? Thanks!
3
votes
2answers
80 views

How does \if actually get used?

I apologize if this is too newbie or a duplicate, but I've banged my head against it long enough, and searched without success. :( I am trying to use an \if to test for an empty string without ...