As mentioned in the introduction, LaTeX is a language, so you can't simply start typing and expect to see your document appear before your very eyes[Why is TeX not a WYSIWYG system?]. You need to know a few things before you can get started, so it's best to define a few terms first. Don't worry if there seems a lot to take in, there will be some practical examples later, which should hopefully make things a little clearer.
Throughout this document, source code is illustrated in the form:
Command definitions are shown in a typewriter font in the form:
In this case the command being defined is called
\documentclass and text typed <like this> (such as
<options> and <class file>) indicates the type of thing you
need to substitute. (Don't type the angle brackets!) For example, if you want the scrartcl
class file you would substitute <class file> with
scrartcl and if you want the letterpaper option you
would substitute <options> with letterpaper, like this:
But more on that later.
Sometimes it can be easy to miss a space character when you're reading this kind of document. When it's important to indicate a space, the visible space symbol ␣ is used. For example:
When you type up the code, replace any occurrence of ␣ with a space.
One other thing to mention is the comment character % (the percent symbol). Anything from the percent symbol up to, and including, the end of line character is ignored by LaTeX. Thus
will produce the output
will produce the output:
which will produce the output:
- ... document)2.1
- This HTML version of the book uses bitmaps to illustrate the output, which doesn't look as good as the actual PDF version.
- ... breaks2.2
- LaTeX treats the end-of-line character as a space.
This book is also available as A4 PDF or 12.8cm x 9.6cm PDF or paperback (ISBN 978-1-909440-00-5).