[bct] help producing an article with tecs

  • From: Tim Cross <tcross@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 3 May 2006 19:20:37 +1000

Hi Jane,

I should be able to help you a bit with this as I've done a lot of
LaTeX document creation over the years. Its a wonderful system, but
quite unlike anything else and does take a bit of getting use to. 

One of the first significant differences is that the style of your
document is controled by style files. LaTeX comes with a number of
different standard document styles, such as article, report, letter,
book etc. Normally, you don't worry about line spacing, but instead
use a style file which sets this for you. You don't worry about markup
to signify paragraphs, it detects paragraphs by a blank line. You do
have to worry about escaping some special characters which have
special meaning within LaTeX, such as $ and %. 

The trick with LaTeX and one of the main reasons it is so good for
blind and VI users is that you actually don't worry about how the
document looks or is formatted. Instead, you just concentrate on the

Have you got any examples and any documentation on using LaTeX? I
might be able to find a suitable example which may help or put one
together if I can find the time. I might also have some on-line
documentation which may help. Do you have a deadline for doing this?

You might find some useful documents and examples at the Comprehensive
TeX Archive Network see http://www.ctan.org. Note that you are
interested in LaTeX rather than TeX. The LaTeX package is a subset of
TeX which was put together to make things a bit easier - its a bit
like the relationship between SGML and HTML or XML. 


P.S. I have spelt and set the case according to how it normally
appears when written. As my screen reader (emacspeak) was written by
someone who also does a lot of editing using LaTeX and TeX, things are
spoken correctly, the case for you may not be the same and your system
may make it sound odd. To clarify, TeX is usually written with a
capital T and lowercase e followed by upper case X and pronounced tek.
LaTeX is normally spelt with an upper-case L, lower-case a, uppercase
T, lower-case e and upper-case X all one word and pronounced either as
lay-tek or la-tek - think german when trying to say it, with the X
given a short sharp ka sound.

Jane Jordan (gmail) writes:
 > Ok, I have to submit a writing sample for review soon, andI want to  
 > do it in Latex or Tex or ... anyhow I have this editor for tex and I  
 > have some package and things, but what I am tyring to figure out is:
 > How do I start the article, put in a ttitle page and so on.
 > How do I set lne spacing in a document?
 > How do I make paragraphs?
 > I keep hearing it's a mark-up language, but I must be slow, because I  
 > am having trouble.
 > Jane

Other related posts: