[pdftex] pdfLaTeX - pdfTeX - ConTeX.....

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Wed Jan 20 20:56:31 CET 2010

On Wed, Jan 20, 2010 at 12:59 PM, Jan Öhman <Jan_Ohman at glocalnet.net> wrote:

> Hello!
> When I search for help for pdflatex, I come across lots of different systems
> (pdfLaTeX - pdfTeX - ConTeX.....and so on)
> What's the diferent?
> Is it possible to have multiple "packages" at the same time?
> Is this system the easiest for beginners?

If it is "easy" you want maybe TeX is not for you, but I'll assume that
you are willing to work hard but need results sooner rather than later,
so by "easy" you really mean "a modest investment of your time".

Where you should begin depends on where you want to end up.  Most
pdftex users I know started with a "template" for a journal article they got
from their supervisor or a fellow student, and have simply replaced the
text for each new publication, without ever really learning how the system
works, but also without investing much time or effort.   Many people can
pass a driving test after a few short lessons and without knowing how cars

A few people start with Knuth's books and the "plain" format,
which leads to real understanding of how the TeX system works.  If you
plan long drives in remote areas far from help the more you know
about engine repair the higher your chances for success, but that is
not something that can be done in a few lessons.

George N. White III <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia

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