TeX resources

  1. LaTeX Wikibook. Lots of good stuff, and on line too.
  2. Grätzer's book and the 2nd edition of The LaTeX Companion are the best references. (And until you write a book, you will probably only need Grätzer.)
  3. Good basic advice. (If you move up the tree here, you'll find further useful information.)
  4. CTAN: the Comprehensive TeX Archive Network. search CTAN.
  5. exercise: A package for composing exercises. (Some hacking required to get exactly what you will need; in fact I still cannot get it to do exactly what I want.)
  6. beamer: a highly recommended tool for preparing a talk as a pdf file.
  7. thesample.tex is a LaTeX preamble which should work for a UW thesis. Things to note:
    1. Do not attempt to set margin sizes, etc; these sort of things should be determined by the document class.
    2. For a thesis, use the book or the amsbook class (I prefer the look of the book class.) The default margins and the like satisfy the U. Waterloo thesis requirements.
    3. Only load a package if you know what it does, and you actually need it.
    4. I have written useful computer programs in assembler, forth, logo, pascal, modula-2, C, matlab, maple, perl, python, scheme, haskell and tex. Of all these, using tex was the least pleasant. So if you run into a problem, I recommend that you try really hard to find someone else's solution to it.
  8. Figures: the following solutions are available.
    1. xfig: Runs under unix, steep learning curve (and even then it is a time sink) Any of the following solutions is better.
    2. Postscript: i.e., write your own raw postcript (see the book "Mathematical Illustrations" by Bill Casselman). This suggestion is not as silly as it sounds.
    3. inkscape: Runs on unix, windows, macs.
    4. OmniGraffle: a shareware program for the mac which works well for simple diagrams. It covers most, but not all, of my needs. Touchdraw is much cheaper and seems to be a good substitute.
    5. tikz: This is a programming language that outputs a tex file (so it works on any platform). The learning curve is comparable to xfig. Very well documented.

  9. back to my home page