14 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Lim Lian Tze
- Publié sur Amazon.com
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book to LaTeX, considering the many free tutorials and eBooks available on the Web (although there are many out-of-date ones, so beware!)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
7. Listing Content and References
8. Typing Math Formulas
9. Using Fonts
10. Developing Large Documents
11. Enhancing Your Documents Further
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.)
12 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
- Publié sur Amazon.com
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.
14 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
- Publié sur Amazon.com
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.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
- Publié sur Amazon.com
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 [...]
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
- Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle
This is a great book for learning LaTeX. The installation program instructions are for Windows but I have Ubuntu Linux so I'll put some links below for how to install the Tex Editor on Linux.
The book is laid out extremely well so is easy to follow and pick up the skills. Before I finished the first section I had already started to create my own ebook (the reason I was learning LaTeX in the first place) and it looks soooo professional. Everyone who viewed the resulting ebook thought it was "awesome", their words. And I created it in a week.
I have a programmer/DBA background so writing commands and codifying text is my ball-game. But anyone can learn this easily. It is by far superior to any software package or Word Processor out here if not only for the Templates/Classes you can use. I've dumped my word processor for EMACs, TexWorks and LaTeX now.
I'm not much into writing theses these days but I do blog, write articles, write documentation for my job at work and have a number of ebooks I'm wanting to write. This book will cover all of this for me.
LaTeX will create a PDF not a .mobi or .pub ebook format. For that I've bought "Publishing Kindle and ePub eBooks Using LaTeX" aswell but haven't used it yet.
So glad I bought this book instead of scouring the web for tutorials that don't cover aspects or teach in an easy-to-learn manner. Highly recommend this book.
INSTRUCTIONS IF YOU HAVE A LINUX SYSTEM.
Linux often comes with LaTeX installed (I use Ubuntu Linux).
For this book you will need the "texlive" application. To install it on Ubuntu I did the following:
1. Ensure you have an internet connection open (you're connected to your modem or ethernet cable)
2. Open the Terminal Window (SHIFT+CTRL+T)
3. Type or cut and paste the following:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:texlive-backports/ppa
4. Enter your password (the one you log into your computer with) and hit Enter
5. When it has finished updating enter the following command on the commandline then hit Enter:
sudo apt-get update
6. Now the fun bit. Type or cut and paste the following and hit enter:
sudo apt-get install texlive
7. This will install the "texlive" application on your PC.
YOU MIGHT NOTICE SOME PACKAGES NOT ON YOUR PC
This can happen regardless of whether you have Windows or Linux or a Mac. I had to download the BlindText package.
The following link has clear instructions on how to download and install those extra packages:
Create your own path to the folder. Once this is done add the path to TexWorks via the Preferences:
Edit -> Preferences -> Typesetting
And add the path to the folder within the "Paths for TeX and Related Programs" list.
That should fix the missing package issue.