EdLUG:2008-09-04

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The LaTeX Document Preparation System

by Denise Wood

1930, Thursday September 4th 2008

at the Edinburgh Training and Conference Venue

Calling everyone who needs to create beautiful documents without wrestling with a word processor, especially for complicated or long documents, books and brochures. Jumping margins? Mis-aligned tables? Hard-to-maintain indexes? Wild page numbering?

With a lively presentation interrupted for coffee at some point, Denise will show what the LaTeX document preparation system is and what it can do. LaTeX is the opposite of OpenOffice, AbiWord and others: you tag the plain text and compile it, and LaTeX does the formatting for you. LaTeX isn't hard, just different!

Denise will cover:

  • What does LaTeX look like? How do you pronounce it?
  • How does LaTeX work?
  • What is LaTeX good for?
  • What sort of output can it produce?
  • How does Denise use it daily for study and work (fun and profit)?
  • How can you get started?

all this and more at your local Edlug !

Author-Friendly Text Processing Systems

by Dan Shearer

A very brief introduction to systems for logically describing what a nicely-formatted document should look like. There are many languages for these logical descriptions, some of them very popular. This sets the context for why the 20+ year-old LaTeX system built on the 30+ year-old TeX system is not only alive but very important today. LaTeX is roughly in the middle of a spectrum of logical markup languages that sees projects like AsciiDoc and friends on one side (very author-friendly) and XML on the other (unintelligible to humans.)


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