LaTeX is a typesetting system which is very popular with computer scientists and engineers. It actually consists of a set of macros written in the TeX typesetting language (from this fact you can infer that LaTeX is more convenient but TeX is more powerful).

How to learn LaTeX. I recommend using the following in order (for as little or as much as you need):

• Here is a two-minute quick introduction.

• THE BEST, QUICKEST WAY TO LEARN LaTeX IS BY EXAMPLE. Click here for some examples to learn from.

• Look here first if you want to learn how to do something specific in LaTeX.

• If you need to go just a little further, here are some short public-domain tutorials:

• If you later need advanced features, many books on LaTeX exist. They are available at any bookstore which carries a large selection of computer books (Barnes and Noble, Borders, etc.). I recommend the following books in particular:

• A Guide to LaTeX 2e, by Helmut Kopka and Patrick Daly

• LaTeX for Linux, by Bernice Lipkin

• The LaTeX Companion, by Goosens, Mittelbach and Samarin (very good for math, graphics)

• The LaTeX Graphics Companion, by Goosens et al.

• Finally, don't forget the LaTeX/TeX newsgroup. As you know, Usenet newsgroups are usually the best resource for finding answers to computer questions.

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The easiest way to learn LaTeX by example. Just compare some .tex input files with with the printed output. I have plenty of .tex files on this Web site, such as;

and

Just look at one of those files to get started. You can be doing your own LaTeX within half an hour!

If you are writing a document which contains mathematics, take a look at, for instance,

and

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LaTeX can incorporate Postscript files, using the psfig LaTeX style package. To see how to do this (at least in its most basic form), take a look at this example. Note that in order to us psfig one must warn the LaTeX processor, with something like

\usepackage{psfig}


near the beginning of the .tex file.

Instead of psfig, one gets nicer-looking results by using the includegraphics command. Load the package with a command

\usepackage[dvips]{graphicx}


hear the beginning of the .tex file, and then use includegraphics to include the graphic. For example,


\begin{figure}[tb]
\centerline{
\includegraphics[width=3.2in]{ExperiencePoll.eps}
}
\caption{InformationWeek poll results}
\end{figure}



would read in the user's (Encapsulated) Postscript file ExperiencePoll.eps, and place it in the text with the caption InformationWeek poll results.''

Encapsulated Postscript works best; with ordinary Postscript, you may get a lot of extra white space in the document, which won't look as nice. The programs gnuplot and jgraph can be used to generate Encapsulated Postscript graphs from numeric data. The latter program is specifically designed for use with LaTeX, while gnuplot has 3-D capabilities not in jgraph.. For drawing pictures, the xfig program also generates Encapsulated Postscript.

If you only have a Postscript graphic (generated by common public-domain Unix programs such as xpaint, gimp and R (the latter is a statistical package), you can try to convert it to Encapsulated Postscript by using the ps2epsi program which comes with the newer versions of the gs (Ghostscript) package available on most Unix systems.

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