is a tool for creating professional quality, typeset pages of any kind. It is particularly good, perhaps unsurpassed, at typesetting mathematics ; as a result, it is widely used in scientific writing. Some of its other features, like its ability to handle multiple languages in the same document and the fact that the content of a document (chapters, sections, equations, tables, figures, etc.) can be separated from its form (typeface, size, spacing, indentation, etc.) are making TeX more common outside of scientific and academic circles.
Designed by Donald Knuth
in the late 1970s, more than a decade of refinement has gone into the program called "TeX" today. The resulting system produces publication-quality output while maintaining portability across an extremely wide range of platforms.
Remarkably, TeX is free. This fact, probably as much as any other, has contributed to the development of a complete "TeX system" by literally thousands of volunteers. TeX, the program, forms the core of this environment and is now supported by hundreds of tools.
This book is for anyone who uses TeX. Novices will need at least one other reference, because this book does not describe the nuts and bolts of writing documents with TeX in any great detail.
If you are new to TeX, there is much to learn. There are many books that describe how to use TeX. However, the focus of this book is mostly at a higher level. After digesting Chapter 1, you should be able to proceed through the rest of the book without much difficulty even if you have never seen TeX before. So, if you are a system administrator interested in learning enough about these programs to install and test them for your users, you should be all set. If you are interested in learning how to write documents with TeX, this book will be helpful, but it will not be wholly sufficient.
Although many individual components of the TeX system are well documented, there has never before been a complete reference to the whole system. This book surveys the entire world of TeX software and helps you see how the various pieces are related.
:| "Overall, a nice book for the TeX library, but not an essential. A good book for the beginner TeX user, but advanced users probably won't get much out of it."