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Learning LaTeX [Paperback]

David F. Griffiths , Desmond J. Higham
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 1997 0898713838 978-0898713831
This short, well-written book covers the material essential for learning LATEX without any unnecessary detail. It discusses incisive examples that teach LATEX in a powerful yet abbreviated fashion, including the following crucial features: numerous examples of widely used mathematical expressions; complete documents illustrating the creation of articles, reports, and overhead projector slides; troubleshooting tips to help you pinpoint an error; details of how to set up a bibliography and an index; information about LATEX resources available on the Internet. LATEX has become an extremely popular typesetting system and is widely used throughout the sciences. Students may use it to typeset reports and theses (particularly graduate students in any mathematics or computer science discipline).The authors cover LATEX 2e, the latest standard version at the time of publication. An appendix discusses the differences between 2e and the older version, 2.09.

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Learning LaTeX + Guide to LaTeX (4th Edition) + The LaTeX Companion (Tools and Techniques for Computer Typesetting)
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Editorial Reviews


'This booklet is an excellent source for learning LATEX. The authors target the beginner and focus on the most essential commands. The book instructs mainly through the use of examples. Despite the deceptively reader-friendly approach, the authors nonetheless quickly tackle difficult mathematical typesetting problems.' Journal of Mathematical Psychology

'A clear, simple, up-to-date, sometimes amusing introduction to LATEX - brief yet surprisingly comprehensive. Covers basics, graphics, bibliographies, indexes, slides, electronic resources, differences between 'old' and 'new' LATEX, etc. Rich with brief but pertinent examples.' The American Mathematical Monthly

'Most beginners in LATEX do not wish to read through a large comprehensive manual. They want a brief account which covers the essential elements of the subject. This excellent book by Griffiths and Higham is the answer. It begins very gently, showing how to produce a simple document, and goes on to cover the basics in an easy-going but rigorous style. Light-hearted touches add some fun on the way. Yet this book is most carefully written and packs a lot into its 80 plus pages. ...the book changes from sympathetic tutor to reliable reference manual. The first-rate index makes the book equally good in this second and more enduring role ...' George M. Phillips, Mathematical Institute, University of St Andrews, Scotland

'The book is playful, witty, intelligent, and extremely easy to read. ... Learning LATEX tells you what you want to know, with examples, in sensible, clear, entertaining language. I don't think I have ever seen a better manual. ...Overall, I would say that for more than 90% of LATEX users, all the commands they will ever need are contained in this book, in a smoothly accessible format. ... Learning LATEX should be the first book on the shelf for most people.' Robert M. Corless, University of Western Ontario

'The book is aimed squarely at beginners to LATEX who wish to learn the basics with a minimum of fuss. It's always clear and to the point. The many examples are often amusing. I like this little book a lot.' Lawrence F. Shampine, Southern Methodist University

"Learning LATEX, by David F. Griffiths and Desmond J. Higham, is an excellent, easy-to-read introduction to LaTeX, the popular typesetting system used extensively in the mathematical sciences. Although this primer is brief, it covers the essentials of this text processing system remarkably clearly and with far more humour than one normally encounters in computer documentation. I strongly recommend it to anyone intending to learn LATEX ." -Ken Jackson, University of Toronto.

"An excellent introduction for new graduate students and others who are about to write their first mathematical paper." -Charles Van Loan, Cornell University.

"This book is an excellent introductory text for anyone using LATEX for the first time. Especially those writing mathematical papers or theses. It describes and gives examples of the most regularly used constructions but keeps the whole process simple. It is laid out in an excellent progression through the steps involved in the preparation of a LATEX document. The examples given clearly illustrate the points which the authors want to make." -Andrew Malcolm, United Kingdom Meteorological Office.

Book Description

This concise book discusses examples that teach LATEX in a powerful yet abbreviated fashion, including such features as: examples of widely used mathematical expressions; documents illustrating the creation of articles, reports, and overhead projector slides; troubleshooting tips to help pinpoint errors and how to set up a bibliography and index.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: SIAM: Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (June 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0898713838
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898713831
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 7 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #612,941 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great investment for the beginner. October 28, 2002
I wish I had this book when I was learning LaTeX! It is a concise beginner's guide that will get the reader up to speed in a short amount of time. The book does a nice job of briefly introducing more advanced topics, and where to go for more information. This book will get you 80% where you want to go, and I would recommend it as the best book for any new LaTeX user. As a side note, Section 5.6 of the book, "Great Moments in LaTeX History" is absolutely hilarious!
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best first LaTeX book October 17, 2002
By A Customer
This amazing little book is the best introduction to LaTeX (version 2e). It is hard to believe how much useful information it contains; it shows you how to incopporate pictures, create indices, tables of contents, math typesetting, etc. The style is wonderful and witty. The left half of each page shows you what LaTeX commands produce the output on the right half. I've been using LaTeX for a while without really reading any book cover to cover, big mistake and many frustrations.
My best recipe for learning LaTeX is: Start with this book, read it cover to cover, practice it, then move to Kopka and Daly's book.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If You're In a Hurry January 24, 2005
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the perfect book if you simply don't have the time to learn LaTeX properly. At ca. 60 pages, you can get through the volume in an afternoon. It's a painless way to learn to produce beautiful documents.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best Latex resources December 21, 2005
I have tried reading a lot of online articles about learning Latex, and none of them was very helpful. After reading this book for 1 hour, I started creating my own document (which had a pressing deadline). Do buy this book if you are beginner in Latex: the treatment is lucid, helpful and easy-to-read. 95% needs of 90% Latex users will be served by the commands given in this small 60 page book. If you have more advanced needs, this book gives excellent referencs to other, more reference-like Latex books. Oh, and if you are a Windows user, I'd strongly recomment (MikTeX + TeXnicCenter) as your Latex software.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent October 7, 1999
By A Customer
This book, geared for the absolute LaTeX beginner, will have anyone up and running in no time. In many ways it is very similar to Gratzer's small book only shorter and without the discussion of AMSLaTeX. Some of the organizational choices made by the authors, however, are quite puzzling. It's not until the middle of the book that they discuss quotation marks and dashes. That material should have been in the second chapter, though in a book this small--80 or so pages which could be profitably studied for two or three days--I suppose that does not matter much. If you've ever wanted to begin the daunting task of mastering LaTeX, this book along with Gratzer's and Diller's will make you impressively adept in no time.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the way to start working with LaTex September 19, 2005
Gets you up and running quickly. Has all the essentials to create documents using LaTex right away. Well worth the money.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good November 25, 2005
Although some may consider this book to be awfully expensive for the few pages that it has, it is indeed worth the price.

The format of the presented information in this book is very well done. The LaTeX code is given on the left of the page and the rendering of the code is given on the right. This allows the reader to see the actual results yielded by the examples rather than only seeing the code. After all, how meaningful would it be to see LaTeX code and not know exactly what the actual rendering of it looks like?

Most features of LaTeX which I have needed for small documents and reports can be found in this book. There is also a nice sample report in the book which can be used as a template.

Finally, the book is not the least bit boring to read. The author has a sense of humor and gives interesting examples to illustrate various features of LaTeX.

In summary, this book is well worth its price. I hesitated to buy it at first because I thought the shortness of the book would result in the exclusion of important features. However, for my purposes, the book does a very good job of covering what is needed for short mathematical articles and reports.

This is a very good book for beginners of LaTeX. I strongly recommend it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Base August 13, 2005
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book helped provide me with a solid base in utilizing LaTeX. I was pleased with how simple it was to produce a professional document with LaTeX and the guidance of this book. Never will I need or use MS Word again.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Best LaTeX book for math
This book is brief, fun, and very well designed to quickly show how to present math. Ideal for beginners. Read more
Published 5 months ago by ralph kelsey
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy and read this one first, then see if you need anything more
This book is written to be as concise as possible, yet cover essential material. Just about nothing extraneous appears, short of a little wit where it won't take extra space or... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Marc W. Abel
2.0 out of 5 stars Too short, not enough detail
I read this book to add information to a cheatsheet I'm creating. I found the book too short and sketchy to be very helpful. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Daniel A Goldman
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good for those who don't know anything about LaTeX
When I was learning LaTeX, I was searching for a good booking for learning it, and I all found was a bunch of reference books, with an enormous list of commands. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Fabio Fortkamp
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for LaTex starters
Learning LaTex is a short, readable book for those just beginning their relationship with this document preparation system. Read more
Published on December 6, 2008 by B. Rogers
5.0 out of 5 stars Most painless and quickest way to learn LaTex that I know of ...
Can't say it enough - I wish I had this book when I was learning LaTeX. Learning LaTeX from various web sources for the first time, I found that it could be: (1) inconvenient; (2)... Read more
Published on November 7, 2008 by PC
3.0 out of 5 stars Um bom livro introdutório
Um bom livro pra quem não conhece nada sobre LaTeX e quer dar os primeiros passos.
Published on April 5, 2008 by Helio B. Pereira
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
If you want to learn LATEX buy this book. I learned LATEX in 8 hours from reading this book. It is short and to the point.
Published on October 1, 2007 by book reader
3.0 out of 5 stars A brief introduction to Latex
The text have several examples and it is very clear. It is a good book to begin to learn latex but no more. Read more
Published on November 21, 2006 by Fco Javier Andrey Andres
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