[Tugindia] package, class, style

CV Radhakrishnan cvr at river-valley.com
Sun Dec 31 08:53:10 CET 2006

On Fri, 2006-12-29 at 20:40 +0530, Prof.Partha wrote:
> I have some fundamental (foolish) questions about basic LaTeX
> itself.
> 1.  What is the official definition of a package, class, style ?

In TeX world, package is a generic name for any piece of software
written in TeX language.

Every document needs a class loaded if you want to process with LaTeX.
Essentially, the basic definitions of all environments or functions
which you might need to process your document are defined in a class.
LaTeX is distributed with a few classes like, minimal, article, book,
report, letter which are self explanatory as the names indicate.

A style is an add-on to the class, where additional functions or
environments are defined. Styles are a kind of modules which you can
load if and only if you really want them.

> 1a. How do they differ from each other ?

See above.

> 1b. Why do we do \usepackage when we actually want to use a style (.sty) ?

It is the macro defined in LaTeX kernel to load a style and allows us to
use various options provided in the package.  eg.,


> 2. How do I get a list of all commands available in a package ?

Read the manual distributed with the package.

> Please excuse me if my questions seem foolish, or outright wrong.

By the way, do these explanations help you to use LaTeX more

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Best regards


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