[pdftex] basic for Pdftex

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Thu Mar 17 01:35:54 CET 2011

On 2011-03-16 at 15:50:15 +0530, arun ganesh wrote:

 > Hi
 > I'm a beginner.I'm working on Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid).Actully i have to
 > work on Pdflatex/ pdftex. 

Do you really need '[pdf]TeX' and '[pdf]LaTeX' at the same time?
Plain TeX requires some programming skills and I can assure you that
TeX is definitely not the programming language of your choice.  LaTeX
has a higher level user interface and doesn't require programming
skills at all.  Most people use LaTeX and there are many books about
LaTeX available therefore.

You don't have to worry about [la]tex vs. pdf[la]tex.  The former produces
output in a dedicated format, the latter produces PDF files directly.
Most people use pdflatex today.  

 > I googled but wasn't able to find a good tutorial. Can u send me
 > the links where they have all the basics for handling pdftex??

What Google provides is always quite arbitrary and you are quite often
pointed to old stuff.  Please consult



Ubuntu provides the TeX Live distribution, so I suppose that if you
installed it completely, you can type

  texdoc lshort

in order to get a LaTeX introduction.  If you really need plain TeX,

  texdoc impatient

but be aware that plain TeX and LaTeX are two completely different

 > And also is Pdftex/pdflatex an editor or compiler????

It's more or less a compiler.  It reads a text file and produces PDF.
However, this sounds more complicated than it actually is.  There are
many LaTeX editors available which disburden you from typing most of
the control sequences yourself.

TeXworks is a powerful but easy-to-use TeX editor with a built-in PDF


I suppose that it's provided by Ubuntu already.

If something is unclear, don't hesitate to ask again.  But we can be
more specific if we know whether you actually need plain TeX, LaTeX,
or both.


Reinhard Kotucha                                      Phone: +49-511-3373112
Marschnerstr. 25
D-30167 Hannover                              mailto:reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Microsoft isn't the answer. Microsoft is the question, and the answer is NO.

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