Typesetting Tools

5 Handy Free Linux Typesetting Systems

According to Wikipedia “Typesetting is the composition of text for publication, display, or distribution by means of arranging physical type (or sort) in mechanical systems or glyphs in digital systems representing characters (letters and other symbols).”

Computer typesetting systems let you generate high quality documentation including books with minimal effort.

TeX was one of the earliest typesetting systems, first released in 1978. Many of its design decisions have stood the test of time, and TeX is still an extremely well-used typesetting system more than forty years after its inception. In particular, it’s renowned for its means of typesetting complex mathematical formulae; it has been noted as one of the most sophisticated digital typographical systems.

LaTeX is a document preparation system for the TeX typesetting program. It’s a generalised set of macros to help users do many things. Most people don’t want to have to program TeX, especially to set up things like sections, title pages, bibliographies and so on. LaTeX provides all of that: these are the ‘macros’ it offers.

There are quite a few good typesetting systems available for Linux besides TeX. Here’s our roundup of ones which are most useful. Only free and open source software is included.

We haven’t prepared a ratings chart for this roundup.

Let’s explore the typesetting systems. They are listed in alphabetical order.

Typesetting Systems
groff Reimplementation and extension of the typesetter from AT&T Unix
LoutReads a high-level description of a document similar in style to LaTeX
SILEHas features inspired by TeX and InDesign, but seeks to be more flexible
TexinfoTypesetting syntax used for generating documentation
typstMarkup-based typesetting system for the sciences
We cover LaTeX separately. Here's our roundup of the best LaTex Tools
Best Free and Open Source SoftwareRead our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. Our curated compilation covers all categories of software.

The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There are hundreds of in-depth reviews, open source alternatives to proprietary software from large corporations like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, IBM, Cisco, Oracle, and Autodesk.

There are also fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.
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