[XeTeX] Is the apprentice's incompetence?

Wilfred van Rooijen wvanrooijen at yahoo.com
Fri Apr 17 18:13:38 CEST 2009

Your confusion probably stems from the fact that you're looking for specific documentation of xetex, rather than tex or latex.

Tex is a programming language, latex is a "superset" of tex-commands (kind of like matlab scripts, for instance).

There are several "compilers" for tex and latex, which are usually referred to as "(la)tex (engine)". xetex is a particular tex compiler, xelatex is the xetex-based "superset compiler".

Consider FORTRAN as an example. FORTRAN is a programming language, for which there are many compilers: g77, f95, g95, gfortran, lahey, .... You can find documentation for each of these compilers, but you will not learn how to write FORTRAN from those manuals. 

You need a guide to tex and/or latex. In my opinion, the book "The latex companion" provides a full overview of all things related to making documents with latex (and xelatex for that matter). One particular documentclass in latex is called "memoir" which has a very good manual to tell you all the wonders of latex in printing books (stock size, page size, trim limits, all that stuff - it's there). All latex systems come equipped with the "not so short intro into latex". Look for a file called "lshort.pdf" on your system - chances are very high that it was installed with the latex distribution. The not so short intro is a very good document for learning the basics of latex. Further, there is a good latex-wiki: 


Good luck,

--- On Fri, 4/17/09, Andres Conrado Montoya <andresconrado at gmail.com> wrote:

> From: Andres Conrado Montoya <andresconrado at gmail.com>
> Subject: [XeTeX] Is the apprentice's incompetence?
> To: xetex at tug.org
> Date: Friday, April 17, 2009, 11:33 AM
> Greetings.
> I am a very junior newbie in the TeX/LaTeX/XeTeX world, but
> i'm a
> experienced book designer, working for the Faculty of
> Humanities in a
> public university, along with personal projects in a little
> press of
> my own. Seeking cost-effective solutions for the production
> of books,
> found XeTeX, what I consider to be a good solution.
> However, I can not
> understand where I can start to learn. I can not find good
> sources of
> documentation about the commands and it's effects in
> the type. I have
> spent hours in front of the screen trying to find
> documentation of
> XeTeX, but I find some here, some there, nothing founded so
> far says
> something like "for starting a document you ned to
> write this and
> that, and end the document with this and that" Some
> kind of tutorial.
> Google was the first and obvious option, that finally guide
> me there,
> and give links to other manuals, but I start reading and
> feels like is
> supposed that I know at least how to write the base of a
> document
> (headers, how to start it, how to end it, etc.), but I
> don't know how
> to do it.
> Is it my mistake? I'm missing someting? I tried using
> existing XeTeX
> documents, like the ones in the showcase, but finally, I
> don't know
> how the document works, and I'm unable of editing it
> except at the
> information level.
> Could you please give me some clues on where to find
> manuals or
> guides, specifically XeTeX, to start learning and guide
> others? Need
> to know how to control typographically the design, how to
> make
> variations, bleeds, etc., at the design level. I know this
> is
> posibble, but I'm frustrated... I'm intelligent, I
> can handle the
> code, can handle the documentation I've founded, but is
> fragmented,
> just wanna know where to start.
> I'm very grateful for all you can tell me, and
> apologize for not
> knowing what to do. Probably I'm looking in a bad
> direction. (and
> sorry for my bad english)
> Have very nice day, everyday, all of you there.
> --
> Andrés Conrado Montoya
> El Andi
> andresconrado at gmail.com
> http://chiquitico.org
> ----------------------------------------
> Los fines no justifican los medios, porque la medida
> verdadera de
> nuestro carácter está dada por los medios que estamos
> dispuestos a
> utilizar, no por los fines que proclamamos.
> ----------------------------------------
> Por favor, evite enviarme documentos adjuntos en formato
> Word o PowerPoint.
> Lea
> http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/no-word-attachments.es.html
> _______________________________________________
> XeTeX mailing list
> postmaster at tug.org
> http://tug.org/mailman/listinfo/xetex


More information about the XeTeX mailing list