[lltx] the beginner's question

Manuel Pégourié-Gonnard mpg at elzevir.fr
Sat Nov 6 15:03:12 CET 2010


Le 06/11/2010 12:13, Gyorgy Szeidl a écrit :
> where can i find information about
> lualatex. a pdf file (or files) which
> explains (explain) everything for a
> beginner who, however, has been using
> latex (in fact miktex) for a long
> time.

Unfortunately, there is no such document at this point. I plan to write one,

> i have searched the network
> using the word lualatex as a keyword
> but i have not succeeded in finding
> sufficient information for making me
> understand the most important features
> of lualatex.

The most important features of LuaTeX itself are:
- native Unicode support,
- integration with Lua & opening the engine internals.

Currently, from a user point of view, the most important features of LuaLaTeX are:
- native Unicode support,
- support for modern font formats with the fontspec package,
- the ability to execute Lua code with \directlua,
- a few other goodies like metapost integration with the luamplip package.

To start with LuaLaTeX, all you need to change from "normal" LaTeX is:
- don't load inputenc nor fontenc,
- add \usepackage{fontspec} to your preamble,
(Actually, there is some support for compatibility with non fully Unicode
document (which includes documents using 8-bit fonts), provided by luainputenc,
but the recommended way is as above: fully Unicode.)

The most recommended document to read is the fontspec manual. Currently, it's
the single most important user-visible feature of LuaLaTeX of "normal" LaTeX.

If you're interested in using Lua for programming, the book "programming in Lua"
is a very good introduction (the first edtion is available online:
http://www.lua.org/pil): for a quick start, I recommend reading chapters 1 to 6
and skimming through part 3.

If your have more questions, they are most welcome.

Happy LuaLaTeXing,

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