[texhax] Plain Tex

Joseph Wright joseph.wright at morningstar2.co.uk
Mon Sep 28 07:46:00 CEST 2009

Kelly wrote:
> Dear Sir/Madam:
> I have tried to learn TeX on my own through Knuth's book, and am writing stuff using a MikTex implementation on Windows Vista.
> I would like to continue using plain TeX instead of LaTeX.
> Is it possible to use color, include photos, and hyperlinks in my pdf files using plain TeX instead of LaTeX?
> If so can you recommend a simple explanatory source to me, who knows little else than what is in the Knuth book.
> Sincerely,
>   Kelly McKennon

Hello Kelly,

As LaTeX is built by programming TeX, all of this is possible. The issue 
is that all of these things are driver-dependent, and so are done using 
\special's. This just puts the appropriate driver instruction into the 
output, so you need to know what the driver expects. You could consider 
the "minimal LaTeX" approach which some plain users take, as this avoids 
needing to learn all of that type of thing.
Joseph Wright

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