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LaTeX Beginner's Guide (Anglais) Broché – 21 mars 2011

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Présentation de l'éditeur

When there's a scientific or technical paper to write, the versatility of LaTeX is very attractive. But where can you learn about the software? The answer is this superb beginner's guide, packed with examples and explanations. Overview Use LaTeX's powerful features to produce professionally designed texts Install LaTeX; download, set up, and use additional styles, templates, and tools Typeset math formulas and scientific expressions to the highest standards Include graphics and work with figures and tables Benefit from professional fonts and modern PDF features In Detail LaTeX is high-quality Open Source typesetting software that produces professional prints and PDF files. However, as LaTeX is a powerful and complex tool, getting started can be intimidating. There is no official support and certain aspects such as layout modifications can seem rather complicated. It may seem more straightforward to use Word or other WYSIWG programs, but once you've become acquainted, LaTeX's capabilities far outweigh any initial difficulties. This book guides you through these challenges and makes beginning with LaTeX easy. If you are writing Mathematical, Scientific, or Business papers, or have a thesis to write, then this is the perfect book for you. LaTeX Beginner's Guide offers you a practical introduction to LaTeX with plenty of step-by-step examples. Beginning with the installation and basic usage, you will learn to typeset documents containing tables, figures, formulas, and common book elements like bibliographies, glossaries, and indexes and go on to managing complex documents and using modern PDF features. It's easy to use LaTeX, when you have LaTeX Beginner's Guide to hand. This practical book will guide you through the essential steps of LaTeX, from installing LaTeX, formatting, and justification to page design. Right from the beginning, you will learn to use macros and styles to maintain a consistent document structure

Biographie de l'auteur

Stefan Kottwitz studied mathematics in Jena and Hamburg. Afterwards, he worked as an IT Administrator and Communication Officer onboard cruise ships for AIDA Cruises and for Hapag-Lloyd Cruises. Following 10 years of sailing around the world, he is now employed as a Network and IT Security Engineer for AIDA Cruises, focusing on network infrastructure and security such as managing firewall systems for headquarters and fleet. In between contracts, he worked as a freelance programmer and typography designer. For many years he has been providing LaTeX support in online forums. He became a moderator of the web forum latex and of the site Recently, he began supporting the newly established Q and A site as a moderator. He publishes ideas and news from the TeX world on his blog at

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 18 commentaires
20 internautes sur 20 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Up-to-date, practical, reassuring, step-by-step learning manual to LaTeX. 24 juin 2011
Par Lim Lian Tze - Publié sur
Format: Broché
When I read about the publication of the book on various forums and blogs, my interest was definitely piqued: the author, Stefan Kottwitz, is a frequent and helpful contributor/moderator on TeX.SX. On the other hand I wondered if anyone would actually want to buy an introductory book to LaTeX, considering the many free tutorials and eBooks available on the Web (although there are many out-of-date ones, so beware!)

After a quick flip through the book, I felt the answer was a very firm "YES". First off, this is certainly an up-to-date book with descriptions of recent packages, and warnings about obsolete ones. While the first few chapter headings read like most other beginner's guide to LATEX, Kottwitz's approach of using complete step-by-step examples throughout the book is something seldom seen in other books or tutorials. By that I mean you don't just get the first few handful of "Hello World" examples, but for much more advanced usage scenarios as well. (BTW, The examples are based on TeXLive and TeXworks.)

Your mileage may vary, but I do feel that such a hand-holding approach (that's what my training course had been described as) -- at least in the early days of learning LaTeX -- is very reassuring. Especially so since LaTeX can be rather intimidating for people who have only used WYSIWYG word processors before. There are pop quizzes are interspersed throughout the content (answers in the appendix).

The book has 13 chapters on the following topics:

1. Getting Started with LaTeX
2. Formatting Words, Lines, and Paragraphs
3. Designing Pages
4. Creating Lists
5. Creating Tables and Inserting Pictures
6. Cross-Referencing
7. Listing Content and References
8. Typing Math Formulas
9. Using Fonts
10. Developing Large Documents
11. Enhancing Your Documents Further
12. Troubleshooting
13. Using Online Resources

While the early chapter headings are kind of expected of any beginner's guides, they do still contain valuable nuggets. For example, the microtype package is introduced in Chapter 2, as is how to define your own macros with \newcommand. Imagine a beginner's joy at the even more beautiful typesetting afforded by microtype. And the new-found freedom of defining one's own commands for consistent typesetting of certain materials. Personally I think such tips, introduced at an early stage, would boost beginner's confidence in using LaTeX.

While some might consider the installation instructions of TeXLive and TeXworks in Chapter 1 as frivolous, I certainly welcome the instructions on how to install extra packages in Chapter 11.

Chapter 3 on designing pages is particularly useful, as this seems to be one of the most frequently asked beginner's questions these days. (At least, indicated by the fact that the post on setting page sizes and margins being the 5th all-time most favorite post on my blog.)

I also like the mention of getnonfreefonts in the chapter on fonts. Another favorite chapter of mine is that on Troubleshooting, as this is definitely one of the most important skills if one is to use (and learn!) LaTeX. And everyone who's going to write a thesis or a business report will definitely want to read Chapter 10 on large documents.

Overall, the book does cover everything a beginner should learn about LaTeX, IMHO anyway. My only nitpicks are that the LaTeX logo isn't typeset `properly' in the text; and that the LaTeXed output images seem a tad blurry in the PDF eBook version. But these are just petty nitpicks, really.

So do I recommend LaTeX Beginner's Guide for people interested in learning LaTeX? I'd say Yes. This would be a very nice addition to libraries, or as a communal copy in a research lab, so that newly registered graduate students who're not yet quite busy with their research can spend their first month learning up LaTeX with it. (You can, of course, get your very own copy; I only mention a communal copy as I know some Malaysians -- especially poor grad students -- might be reluctant to fork out about RM120 for a book. Everyone really should fork out money to buy a good book sometime, though.)
15 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Great book on LaTeX - not only for beginners 28 mai 2011
Par Ingo Bürk - Publié sur
Format: Broché

The author, Stefan Kottwitz, can be found in all common (La)TeX forums as the user Stefan_K and if you're not new to LaTeX you probably already met him online. Since that was the case for me, I knew that he knows what he's talking about and so this book was a must-have for me.
I read it in two days and I have to say: I am surprised and amazed. Although it's titled "Beginner's Guide", the target group definitely isn't restricted to beginners. I already wrote larger documents with LaTeX, so I wouldn't consider myself a beginner - and yet I learned a lot just by reading this book once.


The book itself is divided into 13 chapters, each being divided into smaller sections. It usually begins with explaining the topic and how to do it in general, followed by "time for action" examples, which then are explained and discussed in detail. That way, it is easy to follow his thoughts, but also to skip certain parts if you want to. I recommend reading everything though, because sometimes he gives little hints which can be really useful.


What can I say - amazing! From how to install a TeX distribution on your computer to how to manage even large projects this book covers everything you (or at least I) need. You really learn how to use LaTeX from scratch and, since I wasn't new to it I know that, he tells you about all the small problems you will sooner or later meet. If I would have had this book at least two years ago, I could have saved myself a lot of time using Google and forums.
If you're not experienced with LaTeX, I recommend reading it carefully and really doing your own experiments rather than just copying the examples in order to really learn all the information provided and fully understand what you are doing. In any case I recommend putting little post-its on the pages which seem especially important to you - at least that's what I did and for the moment there are nine of them in my book.

I especially like that the author also talks about typography and how to write "clean" documents rather than giving instructions and commands like "here, do this and that", although this might be a little too much for a complete beginner (which just means in that case you need to read it more carefully). Also, for example, he talks about commonly used, but outdated packages or commands.


I can really recommend this book, not only to beginners but also to more experienced LaTeX users. There's a lot to learn! Thanks to how it's structed you can also easily use this book to have it on your shelf and look something up in case you need to do so.
15 internautes sur 16 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
LaTeX for beginners and beyond 22 juin 2011
Par eloAtl - Publié sur
Format: Broché
This book covers all the basics of LaTeX and then some in thirteen chapters totaling about three hundred pages. Each chapter contains a Quiz with solutions given in the Appendix. Its starts with the usual Installation chapter with the installation detailed for Windows, not other environments. It then goes on in a logical sequence starting with formatting words, lines, paragraphs, and pages. Next are lists, tables, tabbings, and pictures (bizarrely in the same chapter as tables), cross-references, lists of references, indexes, bibliographies, maths, fonts (but not much on Unicode), long documents, hyperlinks and bookmarks to finish with a nice and useful chapter on troubleshooting, followed by online resources, answers to quizzes and an index.

The book is for beginners in LaTeX, but not for computers novices. You will need some fluency in computer lingo since many terms are not defined nor explained. But then, most people who would be aware of the existence of LaTeX and consider using it are probably somewhat computer savvy. The advantage is that the book can cover quite some ground and still remain within a reasonable number of pages. Overall I found the book to be a good introduction to LaTeX. It packs up quite a good deal of information in a relative small amount of pages and is easy to follow and well organized.

I do have a few caveats though. The book was made using InDesign CS4, not LaTeX. It would have been nice to see LaTeX in action. Furthermore, the book has very little on Unicode. The book is about LaTeX, it does not deal at all with XeTeX. It's still useful, but you need to know it. The author uses TeXWorks on Windows. As a result, if you use a Mac and/or another editor, some pages will be useless. But then, I guess you can't really expect a book dedicated to your particular environment. On the negative side, the making of the book could be improved. The reproductions of the compiled results of the code are obviously screen captures pasted in the text. But they are of a poor quality. There is also the annoying repetition of section titles like "Time For Action" or "Have a go hero." Furthermore the book oftentimes reads like a translation (the author is German).

Overall, despite these negatives, this is a good book to have in a LaTeX beginner's library and a good addition to the classics on LaTeX or to all the on line resources.

As a disclosure, I need to say that Packt asked me if I would review the book on my site (this is an excerpt of the review). I did not get paid and Packt had no say in the review. The only perk I got was a pdf copy of the book for the review.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Guiding the way from a beginner to an expert 12 mai 2011
Par tom - Publié sur
Format: Broché
The book "LaTeX Beginner's Guide" is more than a guide for LaTeX beginners. It not only gives a very complete overview to people who are new to LaTeX, but also serves as a reference book once they get more familiar with the syntax. The book provides many real world examples. They are simple at first and get more complex the further the reader advances in the book. Being always complete, they are perfect for reuse and extension, often showing the expected outcome. The book is very well structured, discussing the most important topics of LaTeX, including: document formatting and structuring, creating lists, tables and figures, referencing and cross-referencing, typesetting math formulas, troubleshooting, etc. Plenty of tips and tricks facilitate daily typesetting and help familiarize with LaTeX quickly, helping to get more out of the reader's documents. I recommend this book to anyone who has no or only little knowledge and seeks a smooth but increasingly challenging introduction to the extensive world of LaTeX.
Tom - author of [...]
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Great book, no hesitation 9 décembre 2012
Par sshahraz - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
I looked at any single review of the offered similar titles in Amazon and decided to purchase this one. I am happy. Here are my reflections:

1. Great size, so a serious reader can read and practice it in less than a week and become a working LaTexer!
2. The chapters are incremental
3. To the extent I practiced it the examples are all correct and working
4. Full of examples that can solve the problems

Are there LaTex problems that have not been addressed by this book? Of course. There are so many subtle ones that one needs to search internet to get a good handle on them.
I recommend the book to all beginners.
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