2015-06-13 The LaTeX book is out

Some time ago I alluded to the fact that I’m coauthoring a book on LaTeX.

Well, I’m proud to say that the book by Bartłomiej Przybylski and me is now out. Why write yet another LaTeX introductory guide when there seem to be so many of them, you might ask?

One reason is that there are not that many of them in Polish (yes, the book is in my mother tongue).

Another one is that we had a very specific audience in mind. We expect the book to serve students who want to typeset their bachelor’s or master’s theses with LaTeX. We have also assumed that our readers are not fascinated by typography or TeX hacking. That is why we omitted quite a few things which are present e.g. in the famous Not so short introduction to LaTeX2e, at the same time including a few things which are more advanced, but very useful in theses (like joining cells in a table – both horizontally and vertically, using BibLaTeX or making indices with xindy; makeindex cannot sort Polish indices correctly!).

Also, we chose a “cookbook” format (in fact, the very title translates as “LaTeX: the cookbook”), that is, the bulk of the book is a set of recipes for obtaining particular results. This way, the reader/user does not have to read all 200+ pages – instead, it should be enough to read the introductory part and then just look up what’s needed.

It may also be worth mentioning that even though we will print a few (very few, in fact) physical copies – many of them for libraries – the book is available electronically from the website of the Polish Mathematical Society. It is CC-BY-NC-SA-licensed, so everyone can grab a copy.

Last but not least, I have to say that we had quite some fun putting this book together. I have to admit that making things is what motivates me a lot: looking at something that I’ve built (whether with a co-maker or alone, though as a Catholic I believe that technically the latter category is void) is extremely satisfying, be it a scientific paper, a drawing for my daughter, an IKEA cabinet, a piece of software or a book. (Also, it is easier to hide some Easter eggs in a book than in a drawing for daughter or an IKEA cabinet, so that made considerable part of the fun, too.)

What else can I say? I’m proud. Please let me – this is the first published book with my name on it (though the second I’ve written – but the first one is still being worked on by the publisher).

CategoryEnglish, CategoryBlog, CategoryTeX, CategoryLaTeX