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

Axel E. Retif axel.retif at mac.com
Thu Jan 21 01:46:00 CET 2010

On  20 Jan, 2010, at 11:16, James Haefner wrote:

> Jan Öhman 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?
>> //Jan
> Jan:
> Obviously there is a learning curve. Some of your problems concern tex and latex (not the pdf-oriented application of the same formatting code).  So, you need basic reference materials.  Others have cited the pdftex manual.  I also strongly recommend you consult some of the many books written as introductions; here are the 2 I used when learning and still refer to:
> (1) Kopka, Helmut; and Daly, Patrick W. 2004. Guide to LaTeX. 4th Ed. Addison-Wesly.  -- a readable introduction that covers latex basics and some add-on packages.
> (2) Mittelbach, Frank and Goossens, Michel. 2004. The LaTeX Companion. 2nd Ed. Addison-Wesley.  -- *relatively* brief intro to basic latex (but it is covered), but most notable for excellent coverage of many add-on packages.

Also, "The Not So Short Introduction to LaTeX", in several languages:



I would advise you to join the TeXhax mailing list:


as your questions deal more with the general use of LaTeX rather than pdfTeX, which is the engine.



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