Compared to LaTeX (as a set of macros, a "language", not as the latex implementation), there are far fewer ConTeXt documents available. Yet ConTeXt seems really interesting and I want to explore it a bit more.

What I would be very interested in is a kind of Rosetta stone for LaTeX and ConTeXt. In other words, a complex document (say, > 20 pages with graphics, possibly using metafun or tikz) whose sources are available in both LaTeX and ConTeXt. The final PDFs have to be (nearly) identical and the sources should compile with TeXLive 2016.

I am aware this kind of questions is borderline on a stackexchange site, but I really believe that if such documents exist and are clearly identified somewhere, it could greatly help people to grasp what the differences are and how to quickly convert to another system (with its own idioms, etc.). This could also end up as a community answer.


What I mean by "(nearly) identical" is that I am aware that the final result cannot be exactly the same PDF (or maybe it can with a large number of low-level modifications). But that's not the point.

The sources should only be identical in intent: i.e. same content, same page size, same layout, etc. But if one backend has a different line-breaking, kerning, etc. algorithm, it is fine. I don't care about the PDF, I care about the source of sufficiently complex documents, with the additional constraint that these sources should, in principle, result in the same document.

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    This is highly improbable because pdfTeX, XeTeX, and LuaTeX produce different line breaks. See also What are the incompatibilities of pdftex, xetex and luatex?. Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 15:20
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    I was not precise enough: this is what I had in mind saying "(nearly) identical". What I really meant was that the sources should be set up to obtain the same result (i.e. the same text, same sectioning, same layout, etc.), in other worlds should provide the same content in the same way in spirit. There will be small differences like line-breaks as you said but my purpose is not to compare the final result but to compare the sources. :)
    – JohnW
    Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 16:38
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    Maybe you could write the content in markdown and convert it to LaTeX and ConTeXt via pandoc. You would probably want to create a set of custom templates to help ensure greater consistency. Since it would be auto-generated, it probably wouldn't be as 'clean' as what adept LaTeX- and ConTeXt-users produce, but it would give you a sense.
    – jon
    Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 16:52
  • context garden has lots of example
    – percusse
    Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 16:53
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    Some functionalities are not compatible. ConTeXt is better at certain things LaTeX at other stuff.
    – percusse
    Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 17:10

1 Answer 1


Although they are not complete examples, Aditya Mahajan's series of articles in TUGboat might be useful to look at: http://tug.org/TUGboat/Contents/listauthor.html#Mahajan,Aditya

He wrote about the ConTeXt way to do various basic things. Hope this helps.

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    Indeed, they are useful for someone in the process of learning ConTeX. These are also referenced on contextgarden. However my question is not about how to learn ConTeX or what the main differences are in theory (these domains are already pretty well covered in contextgarden). I am looking for a large documents that can be produced using both a(ny) LaTeX implementation and ConTeX. A bit like the pgfmanual which can be compiled using almost any LaTeX implementation out there. But if that does not exist, so be it! :)
    – JohnW
    Commented Sep 28, 2016 at 14:17

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