Guide to LaTeX

Helmut Kopka and Patrick W. Daly

3rd Edition, 1999

See Preface for changes over the 2nd edition

See errata and addenda to 3rd edition
To order Amazon (US) or Amazon (DE)

First Edition, 1993, Out of print  Second Edition, 1995, See preface

LATEX2e is the successor version of LATEX 2.09, and is the only official version since its release in June 1994. Updates are to appear twice yearly, in June and December. (As of 2000, once a year.)

At that time, Kopka and Daly decided to rewrite their popular `A Guide to LATEX' as a second edition, with a slightly changed title (`A Guide to LATEX2e') to reflect that it is indeed LATEX2e that is being emphasized. A totally new format and typeface were selected. Much of the material common to both the older 2.09 version and the new 2e was retained, with a great deal of added text to describe the new features. Some obsolete sections were also removed.

Four years later, it seemed reasonable to produce a third edition, with the title reverting to the original, stressing that LATEX2e is the only current standard. Nevertheless, those features not present in the 2.09 version are still indicated as such.

LATEX itself has become fairly stable in this interval, so that most of the changes in the 3rd edition deal with peripherals, such as graphics inclusion, and colour, which are now dealt with directly in the chapter on illustrations and not in the appendix on extensions. Similarly, many of the tools packages (array, longtable, verbatim, varioref, xr) are described in those sections where they are most applicable. The New Font Selection Scheme (NFSS) has been split up into three sections: selecting fonts by attributes is in the main text as before, definition of the attributes and selection by low level commands in advanced chapter, while font definition by means of attributes is reserved to the appendix on programming. The programming appendix sees two fairly complicated sample packages removed (esperanto and authyear) since both are functionally provided by publicly available packages (babel and natbib). A new package to reprogram sectioning titles is presented instead.

A new appendix explaining the AMS math extensions has been added, while the appendix on fonts has been generalized to include the Computer Modern, Extended Computer, and PostScript fonts.

The extensions appendix contains a discussion on World Wide Web and electronic publishing, pointing out the features of latex2html, tex4ht, techexplorer, and pdfTeX with the hyperref package.

The final copy of the new text was submitted to the publisher on November 9, 1998. See the list of errors that have been discovered since then.