Programming Books

15 Excellent Free Books to Learn LaTeX

Last Updated on January 21, 2024

13. The Computer Science of TeX and LaTeX by Victor Eijkhout

The Computer Science of TeX and LaTeXThe Computer Science of TeX and LaTeX uses the TeX and LaTeX system to provide an introduction to a number of computer science topics.

This book is based on the lecture notes of a course taught at the University of Tennessee in the fall of 2004. This is a ‘topics’ course in computer science, using TeX and LaTeX as motivation and examples.

The contents of the book covers:

  • The use of LaTeX for document preparation, LaTeX style file programming, and TeX programming.
  • Learn the basic of language theory and parsing, and apply this to parsing TeX and LaTeX.
  • Looks at dynamic programming, TeX paragraph breaking, TeX’s line breaking algorithm, nondeterministic polynomial time (NP) completeness, basics, complexity classes, NP-completeness, page breaking, TeX’s page breaking algorithm, theory of page breaking
  • Fonts, explores Bezier curves, Parametric curves, piecewise curves, curve plotting with gnuplot, raster graphics, rasterizing type, anti-aliasing.
  • TeX’s macro language – this is an unfinished chapter.
  • Character encoding including ISO 10646, Unicode, UTF-8, font encoding, aesthetics, the fontenc package, and more.
  • Software engineering.
  • Literate programming.

The book is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0) license.

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14. Arbitrary LaTeX reference by Bart

Arbitrary LaTeX referenceArbitrary LaTeX reference is a record of the author’s findings in solving problems in LaTeX.

It covers basic usage, TeX syntax, document setup, packages, styling and typesetting, tables, math, images and floats. It also looks at accented characters, symbols, languages.

Later chapters cover BibTeX, layouting, unsorted ticks, common error messages, PDF-specific issues, and more.

The license is not stated.

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15. LaTeX by Wikibooks


This is a good general guide to the LaTeX markup language.

The book goes into considerable detail spanning 748 pages.

It’s intended to form a useful resource for everybody from new users who wish to learn, to old hands who need a quick reference.

This is a featured book on Wikibooks.

The contents of the book:

  • Getting Started – introduction, installation, installing extra packages, basics.
  • Common Elements – document structure, text formatting, paragraph formatting, colors, fonts, list structures, special characters, internationalization, rotations, tables, title creation, page layout, importing graphics, floats, figures and captions, footnotes and margin notes, hyperlinks, labels and cross-referencing.
  • Mechanics – errors and warnings, lengths, counters, boxes, rules and struts.
  • Technical Texts – mathematics, advanced mathematics, theorems, chemical graphics, algorithms, source code listings, linguistics.
  • Special Pages – indexing, glossary, displaying the glossary, bibliography management, more bibliographies.
  • Special Documents – letters, presentations, teacher’s corner, curriculum vitae.
  • Creating Graphics – introducing procedural graphics, MetaPost, picture, PGF/TikZ, PSTricks, Xy-pic, creating 3D graphics.
  • Programming – macros, plain TeX, creating packages, themes.
  • Miscellaneous – modular documents, collaborative writing of LaTeX documents, export to other formats.
  • Help and Recommendations – FAQ, tips and tricks.
  • Appendices.

This book is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

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Pages in this article:
Page 1 – LaTeX Tutorials: A Primer and more books
Page 2 – Let’s Learn LaTeX and more books
Page 3 – Using LaTeX to Write a PhD Thesis and more books
Page 4 – The Computer Science of TeX and LaTeX and more books

All books in this series:

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