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TeX Unbound: LaTeX and TeX Strategies for Fonts, Graphics, and More [Paperback]

Alan Hoenig
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 2, 1998 019509686X 978-0195096866
LaTeX is the premier software system used for presenting scientific and technical information on the printed page, being the system of choice for writers in mathematics, the sciences, computer science, and engineering. It is also increasingly used by nontechnical writers interested in superior printing and document presentation. Authors wishing to take full advantage of this powerful software often have questions that go beyond how to use the basic style files or commands. For example, how can you integrate any of the high quality commercial fonts that are available? How can you typeset mathematics in anything other than the original TeX fonts? How can you generate complex graphics for use in a LaTeX document? What Internet resources are available to a LaTeX author? How can you connect TeX and LaTeX to everyday office software? In general, writers need clear, accurate, and concise instructions, solutions, and explanations for common problems and situations. This unique book provides this assistance, containing many examples and summaries of procedures to follow. TeX Unbound will be the reference of choice for every writer wishing to express technical information.

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Editorial Reviews


"This substantial book is definitely not for the faint-hearted, nor for those looking for an introductory text. Designed for serious TEX experts, it contains a mine of information about managing TEX systems and using TEX for complex jobs involving graphics and unusual fonts. The book's 15 chapters break down conveniently into three sets, providing info on installing and running TEX, LATEX, and MetaFont, font installation and selection, and graphics. The book provides copious examples throughout. Several of its chapters have appendices summarizing the commands of a relevant package, and the book ends with a comprehensive list of 'sources and resources' and a 25-page index. 'TEX Unbound is the ideal resource for anyone interested in the full power of TEX and LATEX." - Computing Reviews, Aug 1999

About the Author

Alan Hoenig is Professor of Mathematics, John Jay College, City University of New York.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (April 2, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 019509686X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195096866
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 6 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,239,663 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best discussion on TeX/LaTeX and fonts yet August 10, 1999
By A Customer
I'll agree that this book is a bit of a hodgepodge of issues on the TeX/LaTeX typesetting systems. One of the various topics covered, however, and as I recall it's also the most extensive part, is a comprehensive discussion on one of the most arcane of all TeX issues, that of fonts. Even after many years of experience as a fairly advanced end user, I realized, while reading that book, that there were, to my shame, countless details I had up-to-now failed to _really_ understand. The discussion on the use and installation of type-1 fonts alone, to my mind, is well worth the price.
The discussion on graphics, while interesting, cannot obviously be compared to the definitive work by Goosens, Rahtz et al., but it doesn't take anything away from my general appreciation: it's one of the few books on TeX/LaTeX in recent memeory that made me feel I was actually learning something I didn't know. Hoenig makes a point of using a rich, fluent, and extremely acurate prose which further enhances the reading enjoyment.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great resource for the font freaks July 22, 1998
By A Customer
Alan Hoenig's "TeX Unbound" is a very remarkable book which differs greatly from any other TeX-related book seen so far. This is not a book about using TeX or LaTeX; it is about related topics that are equally important to good typography, namely setting up and making proper use of PostScript fonts, and creating high-quality graphics illustrations with TeX-friendly methods.
The first five chapters provide a brief but comprehensive overview about TeX, LaTeX, METAFONT and METAPOST, with particular emphasis on how it all fits together, how the production cycle works, and what kinds of files are involved. While the material is generally adequate, it might be a little terse at times, and the coverage of recent TeX distributions and Internet resources is not quite as up-to-date as one might have wished.
The second part, comprising chapters 6--10, is one of the greatest strengths of "TeX Unbound" and delves deeply into the topic of fonts. Starting fr! om the basics of setting up a standard font family, it moves on to more and more fancy and extraordinary applications, covering a wealth of material you don't find anywhere else. For example, it explains how to generate special effects fonts, or how to set up a font family containing alternate character sets or symbols. This part is rounded off by a chapter on math fonts, followed by 30 pages of examples showing how various combinations of well-known text typefaces might be used together with the few choices of math fonts currently available.
Finally, the third part of _TeX Unbound_, comprising chapters 11--15, discusses graphics applications, with particular emphasis on TeX-friendly methods such as METAFONT and METAPOST, the PSTricks package, PicTeX, or MFpic.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I'll admit I'm just a LaTeX junkie who doesn't have a lot of time for plain TeX commands. I picked up this book because it looked as though it had some LaTeX stuff on fonts in it, and I was bored. Once again, I had recently skimmed my way through Knuth's "TeX Book" in yet another ill-fated effort to motivate myself to learn some plain TeX commands. ("\hsize" in TeX, "\hspace" in LaTeX--oh, I'll just confuse myself.) The short Appendix in this book (for which Hoenig is way too apologetic) which starts the reader out on TeX was much more fun to read, and I immediately sat down, picked up Knuth's bible to use as a reference, and re-coded some of my LaTeX documents into plain TeX, all the while muttering, "This isn't too onerous. Hmmmm, maybe in a couple of weeks I'll write my own TeX style set." The LaTeX Appendix is less successful as a primer, but that's okay because you aren't really buying this book for the appendicies. Or are you? The rest of the work deals with advanced topics regarding fonts and graphics and is set forth in lucid fashion with a good and concrete discussion of the NFSS. (Why is it that most of these TeX/LaTeX books are so vague and nebulous concerning fonts? This book proves that you can concisely write about TeX fonts without forcing the reader to read between the lines or piece together nuggets of wisdom from multiple sources.)
Sure, it's geared toward advanced TeX users, I think. But LaTeX afficianados should give it a look or at least buy it and photocopy that little Appendix to pass around to friends.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MetaPost fans will *love* Chapter 13! December 5, 2001
Alan Hoenig's book is a real tour-de-force when it comes to discussing TeX's arcane font-handling. If you want to learn how to install fonts for use with TeX, this is the book for you. Virtual fonts, PostScript fonts, MetaFont +... they're all covered. Want to mix-and-match new maths typefaces -- you'll find nearly 30 pages of examples (the "Rogues' Gallery").
It is quite apparent, to me anyway, that the author has a love of typography and you'll find lots of examples and hints for good "typographic style".
The book abounds with examples of what is possible -- if you think "TeX = Maths only", think again. As this book shows, TeX is about fine typesetting -- whether mathematical or straight text.
It is, as others have commented, quite an eclectic mix of topics, but, for me, one topic makes the book's price worthwhile -- the coverage of MetaPost (John Hobby's graphics programming language). MetaPost is a little "tricky" to learn, so the fact that the author devoted a whole chapter to it (Chapter 13 -- some MetaFont too), is what made me buy the book.
Personally, I would like to see more MetaPost at the expense, perhaps, of some of the more exotic font material, but that's a personal preference. The MetaPost examples are well chosen, and well explained. If this book comes out in a second edition, I'd ask the author to (at least) double the size of the MetaPost chapter -- good introductory information on MetaPost programming is very hard to find :-(. Publishers, please publish a book about MetaPost!
Overall, this is not the sort of book you'd read in one sitting, but you'll certainly find yourself dipping into it on a regular basis to make use of the wealth of ideas, tips + tricks.
Nice one Professor Hoenig, but more MetaPost, please :-)
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