[tex-live] Where to find the official Latex manual

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Thu Mar 5 17:26:35 CET 2009

On Wed, Mar 4, 2009 at 9:25 AM, Manuel Pégourié-Gonnard <mpg at elzevir.fr> wrote:
> Zdenek Wagner a écrit :
>>> Indeed. And if this is the right file, I think `` texdoc latex '' should
>>> open this, instead of /usr/local/texlive/2008/texmf/doc/man/man1/latex.pdf,
>>> as this latter file is just the PDF output of `` man latex ''.
> While I agree that texdoc latex shouldn't open the man page, I doubt usrguide is
> particularly useful to newcomers.  As far as I can see, it is primarily targeted
> at experienced LaTeX 2.09 users who want to discover LaTeX2e.
>> In TL2007 "texdoc latex" finds
>> /usr/local/texlive/2007/texmf/doc/latex/base/latex.pdf which is muc
>> more useful than usrguide.pdf. this file does not exist in TL2008, I
>> have not found it in the svn repository.

There are pdf and html versions, both created from texinfo sources.  In the
html version there is a comment:

This file documents LaTeX2e, a document preparation system. LaTeX2e is a
macro package for TeX.

This is edition 1.6 of the LaTeX2e documentation, and is for the Texinfo
that is distributed as part of Version 19 of GNU Emacs. It uses version
2.134 or later of the texinfo.tex input file.

This is translated from LATEX.HLP v1.0a in the VMS Help Library.  The
pre-translation version was written by George D. Greenwade of Sam
Houston State University.

The LaTeX 2.09 version was written by Stephen Gilmore <stg at dcs.ed.ac.uk>.

The LaTeX2e version was adapted from this by Torsten Martinsen
<bullestock at dk-online.dk>.

Copyright 1988,1994 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
Copyright 1994-1996 Torsten Martinsen.

> I'm not sure, but you may be talking of the file now available as latex2e.pdf,
> the /unofficial LaTeX reference manual/, a pdf version of the texinfo file. If
> so, I also find it very useful.

This appears to be an update of the version in TL2007.

> Anyway, there is an ongoing discussion/work concerning what 'texdoc latex'
> should point to. Most probably the best answer is an « umbrella » document
> pointing to the most relevant documents, such as latex2e.pdf, lshort.pdf, etc.

Yes -- many users would never think to look for latex2e.

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

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