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Guide to LaTeX (4th Edition) Paperback – December 5, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0321173850 ISBN-10: 0321173856 Edition: 4th

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Guide to LaTeX (4th Edition) + The LaTeX Companion (Tools and Techniques for Computer Typesetting) + LaTeX: A Document Preparation System (2nd Edition)
Price for all three: $136.49

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 4 edition (December 5, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321173856
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321173850
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #476,597 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

LaTeX is the text-preparation system of choice for scientists and academics, and is especially useful for typesetting technical materials. This popular book shows you how to begin using LaTeX to create high-quality documents. The book also serves as a handy reference for all LaTeX users. In this completely revised edition, the authors cover the LaTeX2ε standard and offer more details, examples, exercises, tips, and tricks. They go beyond the core installation to describe the key contributed packages that have become essential to LaTeX processing.

Inside, you will find:

  • Complete coverage of LaTeX fundamentals, including how to input text, symbols, and mathematics; how to produce lists and tables; how to include graphics and color; and how to organize and customize documents
  • Discussion of more advanced concepts such as bibliographical databases and BIBTeX, math extensions with AMS-LaTeX, drawing, slides, and letters
  • Helpful appendices on installation, error messages, creating packages, using LaTeX with HTML and XML, and fonts
  • An extensive alphabetized listing of commands and their uses

New to this edition:

  • More emphasis on LaTeX as a markup language that separates content and form--consistent with the essence of XML
  • Detailed discussions of contributed packages alongside relevant standard topics
  • In-depth information on PDF output, including extensive coverage of how to use the hyperref package to create links, bookmarks, and active buttons

As did the three best-selling editions that preceded it, Guide to LaTeX, Fourth Edition, will prove indispensable to anyone wishing to gain the benefits of LaTeX.

The accompanying CD-ROM is part of the TeX Live set distributed by TeX Users Groups, containing a full LaTeX installation for Windows, MacOSX, and Linux, as well as many extensions, including those discussed in the book.



0321173856B10162003

About the Author

Helmut Kopka was previously a scientific staff member at the Max-Planck-Institut für Aeronomie in Germany. He was involved in writing one of the first TeX drivers for HP LaserJet and subsequently introduced TeX and LaTeX into his institute, where it has become the standard text-processing system for scientific publications.

Patrick W. Daly is a scientific staff member at the Max-Planck-Institut für Aeronomie in Germany. He has written formatting styles for several scientific journals and is the author of the natbib package for flexible bibliographic citations and of the custom-bib system for customizing bibliographic styles for use with BibTeX.



0321173856AB10162003

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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It is clear and easy to follow.
Stevenm Rollins
One of the best parts about this book is that there is an appendix which has the syntax of most commands in Latex.
A. Stewart
When you have a difficult usage question, this book will help you find the answer in minimum time.
Weary Traveller

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Weary Traveller on September 2, 2004
Format: Paperback
There are easier introductions to LaTeX (including many on-line from various university courses) but when it comes to doing difficult things this is the book. I have both the German version (3 volumes) and the 3rd English version of this. Typical German thoroughness -- a very extensive index, lists of commands and symbols, clear and concise explanations. As another reviewer says, it's not for the beginner. You can indeed learn LaTeX from this book (first several chapters are simpler) but it is oriented to the person using LaTeX all the time. Especially nice are the detailed explanations of tables, page layout, math mode (both standard LaTeX and AMSLaTeX). There's no disguising that it takes time and effort to get into LaTeX, but the results are well worth it. When you have a difficult usage question, this book will help you find the answer in minimum time.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By John Duncan on February 21, 2007
Format: Paperback
For anyone coming to LaTeX from a background in mathematics many sources of help are available, but it is more difficult for someone coming to it from a feeling of dissatisfaction with the results obtainable with typical WYSIWYG word processors. When you are surrounded by people who think that Word is wonderful and that its equation editor can handle any equations you need, getting to the point with LaTeX where you can use it to advantage may seem more trouble than it is worth. You will probably start with Leslie Lamport's LaTeX: A Document Preparation System, but although that is a good and authoritative start it is not really enough, as there is a great deal more to know than can be found in a short book, and in particular you need to know about all that is now available in the form of packages.

Fortunately there are some excellent sources of more detailed information, and two of these stand out: Kopka and Daly's "Guide to LaTeX" and Mittelbach and Goossens's LaTeX Companion. I acquired both of these about six months ago, but decided to defer posting reviews until I had discovered by experience which of them I actually used more, and the winner is clearly Kopka and Daly, mainly because it is much the easier to find one's way around. It is quite adequate as a complete guide to LaTeX (i.e. you don't really need to start with Lamport, though it's probably a good idea if you do), as the opening chapter on "basics" really is about basics, and the book progresses from there in a reasonably gentle way.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A. Stewart on September 8, 2004
Format: Paperback
I think that this book is a great reference for those that have already some familiarity with Latex. It covers pretty much any aspect that one needs to be effective in Latex. One of the best parts about this book is that there is an appendix which has the syntax of most commands in Latex. I do not own the third edition but I have done a side by side comparison of it with the fourth edition. In general the material all the same minus some formatting differences. I noticed that one chapter did not make it from the third edition to the fourth which was on class writing. Instead a chpater on modifying pre-existing classes was included.

If you already own the third edition, then this may not be as substantial revision to warrant the purchase of this edition, but I do like the new layout of this edition compared to the third.

BEWARE. I do not think that this is best book for those begining Latex. Instead, I recommend "Learning Latex" by D. F. Griffiths and D. J. Higham. This book has the Latex code written right next to how it would appear.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 24, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is a great book. I found it much easier to read than the other LaTeX books I looked at, most of which, in my opinion, are very poorly written. I came to rely on it very heavily as I wrote my thesis, and am very glad that I bought it. For more reviews on the book, do a search for "kopka daly latex" in the standard amazon search box. There are 23 reviews for the third edition, which should be relevant to this edition.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Jack D. Herrington on January 9, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is an ideal introduction to the TeX line of text formatting tools. It starts with a high level overview of the toolset. Then dives into document construction, then into tables, lists, mathematical formatting, and into user constructions and extensions for bibliographies, as well as other topics. PDF and Postscript formatting is covered. As well as AMS-TeX which is more extensions or mathematical formatting.

On the downside the substance of the text is only two-thirds of the book. Appendices make up the rest. Which necessarily means that the coverage is a little more terse than you would expect for a book this size.

That being said, this is still an excellent introduction to the TeX set of tools for anyone who is just starting out.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
I have been using this book a lot, in the recent months, and I am finding it very useful. I am not *at all* an expert latex user, but I do have decent programming skills, and I usually use a computer for hours every day, so my IT skills are decent, overall. For writing technical documents I have been using for years a fairly dated version of ScientificWorkplace, but I am now slowly switching to do more and more in latex, which gives me greater flexibility. What I usually do now is writing my documents in ScientificWorkplace, and then taking care of formatting and other unusual features editing the documents in Latex, through a program called WinEdt. In almost all cases, when I am in trouble with some commands or options, I find a clear solution in this book. For this reason, if your profile sounds a bit like mine, I would highly recommend this book. The new (fourth) edition also includes extensive references to the "hyperref" package, which is very very useful to create great pdf output that includes links to footnotes/sections/equations etc., bookmarks, and active buttons.
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