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LaTeX and Friends


Latex, a technical document processing system based on Tex (written TEXand pronounced ``tek'') has become the mathematical standard for mathematical typesetting, printing and composition. It comes with a large number of style files, or templates, for books, articles, theses, exams, web pages and more.

To learn to use TEXyou will need either a book, or lots of sample files. There are also tutorials on the web. One such manual is An introductory Latex 2e Manual

The standard method is to get a document of the same type from someone, and change the content to suit your needs. This also works for web page development. You will need to use a customizable editor to efficiently create the source files. For best results, see emacs below.

Latex Packages

Question 5.1   What LATEXpackages are available?

There are many packages, to do almost anything. Eventually the table below will have pointers to documentation. For now, some documentation can be found in the /usr/share/texmf/doc directory.
Generates letterhead automatically, provides templates.
Templates for writing exams. Can count points, number questions, parts, leave space for answers, etc.
The ams-latex version of the article format. For more ams-latex documentation, look in the /usr/share/texmf/doc directory.
We have a UConn Thesis style, to conform to the requirements of the graduate school.
A versitile package to produce slides or transparencies.

Other Formats: HTML(Web), PDF, Microsoft, etc.


Question 5.2   How can I adapt my TeX documents to the Web.

We have several tools.
Converts TeX or LaTeX files to HTML. Quick and easy, best for short documents.
A high powered conversion utility. Generates contents, hyperlinks, and more.
Converts latex files directly to pdf.

Some documentation pointers can be found here.


Question 5.3   Can LATEXcreate/format/update bibliographies.

The short answer is YES.

Latex has several programs/systems to help with the bibliographies in your papers, theses, books, etc. They are all based on BibTeX, which is a system involving a data base of your references that you set up. Since the syntax is rather arcane, there are tools to help with this.

The neatest one is BibWeb, which will go out and search the net (actually MathSciNet) for your references, and format them correctly.

The Bibweb Bibliographic Database Creator

If you have old latex files with bibliographies in them, you can extract them into a bibtex file (if they are in reasonable form)

Create Bibtex (.bib) files from your TeX documents

There are also programs to help with the editing of bibliography files.

Emacs is a friend of Latex

Question 5.4   Latex requires typing so much, and is so picky. Are there aids to help both the volume and accuracy.

Yes. You need to use an editor that can be set up to help. I of course recommend Emacs.

Auc-Tex will shorten many commands, find errors for you, and keep track of your files. Its documentation is in the Emacs info system.

Ultra-Tex does a better job of preventing errors, for example, by adding { } and $ always in matching pairs. See: The Ultra-TeX Package for Emacs

It also comes with a Lightning Completion system, which types Latex commands, references, and bibliographic entries faster than you can think. Its documentation is here: Lightning Completion Manual

These three systems are enabled by entries in your emacs setup file.

Question 5.5   Where else can I get TEXhelp?

The CTAN (Comprehensive TeX Archive Network) has everything, if you can find it.

The CTAN Catalog in a readable form.

The TUG (TeX Users Group) has lots of pointers.


Here is where to find the AMS-Latex Documentation At least it will be.<

next up previous contents
Next: Other Questions and Answers Up: UConn Mathematics Department Computer Previous: Web Pages   Contents
Vince Giambalvo 2002-03-08