Free Programming Books

6 Excellent Free Books to Learn TeX

4. A Gentle Introduction to TeX by Michael Doob

A Gentle Introduction to TeXA Gentle Introduction to TeX is billed as a manual for self-study.

The purpose of this manual is to start from the very beginning and to move towards these more complicated situations.

No previous knowledge of TeX is assumed by the author. By proceeding a section at a time, greater varieties of text can be produced.

The contents of the book:

  • Getting Started.
  • Characters requiring special input such as { } % &, accents, typesetting letters from languages other than English, quotes, different fonts.
  • Make text have different shapes or sizes – examines units, page shape, paragraph shape, line shape, footnotes, headlines and footlines, overfull and underfull boxes.
  • Groups.
  • Provides the basic for creating beautiful typeset mathematics – symbols, fractions, subscripts and superscripts, roots, lines, delimiters and more.
  • Aligning text – tabbing environment, horizontal alignment environment.
  • Create new control words.
  • Debugging – looks at some typical errors and the messages generated.
  • Topics that allow TeX to be used with more flexibility or efficiency.
  • List of the control words used in this book.

The book is published under a free license.

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5. Getting Started with Plain TeX by D. R. Wilkins

Getting Started with Plain TeXThis is an introductory text to the world of TeX.

Chapters explore:

  • Introduction to Plain TeX.
  • Producing Simple Documents using Plain TeX.
  • Mathematical Formulae using Plain TeX.
  • Further Features of Plain TeX.

No license is specified.

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6. 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 content 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, nondetermininistic 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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Pages in this article:
Page 1 – TeX for the Impatient and more books
Page 2 – A Gentle Introduction to TeX and more books


All books in this series:

Free Programming Books
JavaGeneral-purpose, concurrent, class-based, object-oriented, high-level language
CGeneral-purpose, procedural, portable, high-level language
PythonGeneral-purpose, structured, powerful language
C++General-purpose, portable, free-form, multi-paradigm language
C#Combines the power and flexibility of C++ with the simplicity of Visual Basic
JavaScriptInterpreted, prototype-based, scripting language
PHPPHP has been at the helm of the web for many years
HTMLHyperText Markup Language
SQLAccess and manipulate data held in a relational database management system
RubyGeneral purpose, scripting, structured, flexible, fully object-oriented language
AssemblyAs close to writing machine code without writing in pure hexadecimal
SwiftPowerful and intuitive general-purpose programming language
GroovyPowerful, optionally typed and dynamic language
GoCompiled, statically typed programming language
PascalImperative and procedural language designed in the late 1960s
PerlHigh-level, general-purpose, interpreted, scripting, dynamic language
RDe facto standard among statisticians and data analysts
COBOLCommon Business-Oriented Language
ScalaModern, object-functional, multi-paradigm, Java-based language
FortranThe first high-level language, using the first compiler
ScratchVisual programming language designed for 8-16 year-old children
LuaDesigned as an embeddable scripting language
LogoDialect of Lisp that features interactivity, modularity, extensibility
RustIdeal for systems, embedded, and other performance critical code
LispUnique features - excellent to study programming constructs
AdaALGOL-like programming language, extended from Pascal and other languages
HaskellStandardized, general-purpose, polymorphically, statically typed language
SchemeA general-purpose, functional language descended from Lisp and Algol
PrologA general purpose, declarative, logic programming language
ForthImperative stack-based programming language
ClojureDialect of the Lisp programming language
JuliaHigh-level, high-performance language for technical computing
AwkVersatile language designed for pattern scanning and processing language
CoffeeScriptTranscompiles into JavaScript inspired by Ruby, Python and Haskell
BASICBeginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code
ErlangGeneral-purpose, concurrent, declarative, functional language
VimLPowerful scripting language of the Vim editor
OCamlThe main implementation of the Caml language
ECMAScriptBest known as the language embedded in web browsers
BashShell and command language; popular both as a shell and a scripting language
LaTeXProfessional document preparation system and document markup language
TeXMarkup and programming language - create professional quality typeset text
ArduinoInexpensive, flexible, open source microcontroller platform
TypeScriptStrict syntactical superset of JavaScript adding optional static typing
ElixirRelatively new functional language running on the Erlang virtual machine
F#Uses functional, imperative, and object-oriented programming methods
TclDynamic language based on concepts of Lisp, C, and Unix shells
FactorDynamic stack-based programming language
EiffelObject-oriented language designed by Bertrand Meyer
AgdaDependently typed functional language based on intuitionistic Type Theory
IconWide variety of features for processing and presenting symbolic data
XMLRules for defining semantic tags describing structure ad meaning
ValaObject-oriented language, syntactically similar to C#
Standard MLGeneral-purpose functional language characterized as "Lisp with types"
DGeneral-purpose systems programming language with a C-like syntax
DartClient-optimized language for fast apps on multiple platforms
MarkdownPlain text formatting syntax designed to be easy-to-read and easy-to-write
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