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Formatting Information, a Beginner's Introduction to Typesetting With LaTeX
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Formatting Information, a Beginner's Introduction to Typesetting With LaTeX

Author(s) : Peter Flynn
Publication Date : Nov 2003

Book excerpts :

This booklet originally accompanied a 2-day course on using the LaTeX typesetting system. It has been extensively revised and updated and can now be used for self-study or in the classroom. It is aimed at users of Linux or Microsoft Windows but it can be used with LaTeX systems on any platform, including other Unix workstations, Apple Macs, and mainframes.

The audience for the original training course was assumed to be computer-literate and composed of professional, business, academic, technical, or administrative computer users. The readers of the booklet (you) are mostly assumed to be in a similar position, but may also come from many other backgrounds.

LaTeX is a very easy system to learn, and requires no specialist knowledge, although some familiarity with the publishing process is useful. It is, however, assumed that you are completely fluent and familiar with using your computer before you start. Specifically, effective use of this document requires that you already know and understand the following thoroughly:
- how to run and use a good plain-text editor (not a wordprocessor and not a toy like Notepad);
- where all 94 of the printable ASCII characters are on your keyboard and what they mean (and how to type accents and symbols, if you use them);
- how to create, open, save, close, rename, and delete files and folders (directories);
- how to use a Web browser or File Transfer Protocol (FTP) program to download and save files from the Internet;
- how to uncompress and unwrap (unzip) downloaded files.

If you don't know how to do these things yet, it's probably best to go and learn them first. Trying to become familiar with the fundamentals of using a computer at the same time as learning LaTeX is not likely to be as effective as doing them in order.

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