Frequently asked questions

A few question and answers about the book itself. Questions about LaTeX? Visit me at LaTeX.org.

Why there’s a bird on the cover?

It’s a hummingbird, which is the LaTeX mascot and in its logo:

LaTeX logo: hummingbird

Why there’s a “Technical Requirements” section in each chapter?

This was a request by the IT publishing company. In my view, it’s enough to recommend once: have a complete (La)TeX installation or use an online LaTeX compiler. Anyway, I filled that requested section with links to the chapter’s code on GitHub and on LaTeXguide.org, and I listed all required LaTeX packages for that chapter.

Compared to the first edition, the image quality improved. What happened?

In 2011, the publisher could only work with bitmap images, such as PNG or JPG. That resulted in poor output when we zoomed in. In the second edition, the publisher was able to use the original LaTeX output images in PDF format provided by me. Now we can zoom in and out in the ebook and keep excellent quality. Just screenshots are bitmaps of course as they are not LaTeX output.

Was this book written in LaTeX?

The publisher uses Adobe Indesign for thousands of IT books. Just because this book is about LaTeX, was not enough to convince the publisher to make it in LaTeX. The alternative would be looking for a different publisher, but that would leave Packt without LaTeX books in its library of thousands. I faced it, it’s about the content and for winning LaTeX users, so I provided the LaTeX content for them to publish using Indesign with their workflow.

What is the difference between the first edition and the second edition?

When I took the chance to rewrite the book, one of the goals was to improve the image quality. Though much has changed in LaTeX since 2011, so I also worked on the actual content and code. After 10 years, Internet addresses changed, some services are gone and new services appeared. I also could get rid of parts of the publisher’s Beginner’s Guide style (that he used for a lot of IT books earlier) such as quiz sections. Sectioning changed a lot when we compare the table of contents, it’s now really more LaTeX focused and not strictly following some book series style guide. In 2011, I was young and had to strictly follow the style guide to get the book contract that time. 😉 There’s a lot of small improvements too, perhaps I go through and list them on a separate page later on here on LaTeXguide.org.

To be continued