LaTeX Beginner’s Guide published

The LaTeX Beginner’s Guide has been published today. This book is a practical introduction to LaTeX with a lot of step-by-step examples. It guides the reader through typesetting with LaTeX, from installation and basic usage to text formatting and to page design, and it shows how to create and to manage complex documents with bibliographies and indexes. A reader will learn to use macros, packages, classes and templates to create professional documents.

LaTeX Beginners Guide Some of the topics of the book:

  • Install LaTeX and use the TeXworks editor to compile documents
  • Design the page layout; create dynamic headers and footers
  • Fine-tune appearances and the space of words, symbols, and lines
  • Apply intelligent justification and customized hyphenation to achieve fine text design
  • Typeset professional-looking tables and create bulleted and enumerated lists
  • Write sophisticated math formulas, from in-text expressions to complex multi-line equations with various alignments
  • Cross-reference objects such as figures, tables, and equations
  • Load fonts and vary their shape and style; choose between thousands of LaTeX symbols from specialized fonts
  • Use macros to save time and effort; load packages to extend LaTeX’s capabilities
  • Generate an index, cite books, and create bibliographies
  • Use external pictures, color, PDF bookmarks, and hyperlinks
  • Structure and manage large documents by splitting the input
  • Manage large documents containing lists, index, and bibliography

This hands-on introduction quickly leads a novice user to professional-quality results. If you are about to write mathematical or scientific papers, seminar handouts, or even plan to write a thesis, then this book is for you.

The LaTeX Beginner’s Guide is available as book and as ebook, in PDF and ePub format. It’s written by Stefan Kottwitz, and published by PACKT.

22. March 2011 by stefan
Categories: LaTeX General, News | 6 comments

Comments (6)

  1. Congrats, Stefan. It’s good to see it in print.

  2. Thanks Kevin, and thank you very much for reviewing it!

  3. Thank you for writing this book, and all your wonderful answers on stackexchange. How does this book compare with say Gratzer’s or Kopka’s?

  4. Hi Jasper!

    I read Kopka’s books about 15 years ago, it was the first LaTeX book I had. It has been helpful in learning and served somehow as a reference for me in the beginning. As a beginner, it was too complicated for me, those days. I returned later and read more in the book, from time to time.

    Regarding Gratzer’s book, I took a brief look at it. I don’t have it at hand, but I remember it focuses on math.

    The LaTeX Beginner’s Guide is a hands-on tutorial, based on examples. That’s a different and very practical approach. I wrote the book to support beginners easing the learning process. Once the reader finished the book, he would be able to go deeper regarding mathematics and more, using online available material, since he made the start.

    Further I included many tipps I learned during my work and from questions and answers in web forums during many years.

    To sum up, the LaTeX Beginner’s Guide makes a difference because of

    • A lot of fully explained examples
    • Up-to-date tips

    Have a look at the sample chapter Creating Tables and Inserting Pictures to see more.


  5. I’ll post my review for the book on here as well:


    The author, Stefan Kottwitz, can be found in all common (La)TeX forums as the user Stefan_K and if you’re not new to LaTeX you probably already met him online. Since that was the case for me, I knew that he knows what he’s talking about and so this book was a must-have for me.
    I read it in two days and I have to say: I am surprised and amazed. Although it’s titled “Beginner’s Guide”, the target group definitely isn’t restricted to beginners. I already wrote larger documents with LaTeX, so I wouldn’t consider myself a beginner – and yet I learned a lot just by reading this book once.


    The book itself is divided into 13 chapters, each being divided into smaller sections. It usually begins with explaining the topic and how to do it in general, followed by “time for action” examples, which then are explained and discussed in detail. That way, it is easy to follow his thoughts, but also to skip certain parts if you want to. I recommend reading everything though, because sometimes he gives little hints which can be really useful.


    What can I say – amazing! From how to install a TeX distribution on your computer to how to manage even large projects this book covers everything you (or at least I) need. You really learn how to use LaTeX from scratch and, since I wasn’t new to it I know that, he tells you about all the small problems you will sooner or later meet. If I would have had this book at least two years ago, I could have saved myself a lot of time using Google and forums.
    If you’re not experienced with LaTeX, I recommend reading it carefully and really doing your own experiments rather than just copying the examples in order to really learn all the information provided and fully understand what you are doing. In any case I recommend putting little post-its on the pages which seem especially important to you – at least that’s what I did and for the moment there are nine of them in my book.

    I especially like that the author also talks about typography and how to write “clean” documents rather than giving instructions and commands like “here, do this and that”, although this might be a little too much for a complete beginner (which just means in that case you need to read it more carefully). Also, for example, he talks about commonly used, but outdated packages or commands.


    I can really recommend this book, not only to beginners but also to more experienced LaTeX users. There’s a lot to learn! Thanks to how it’s structed you can also easily use this book to have it on your shelf and look something up in case you need to do so.

    Der Author, Steffan Kottwitz, ist in allen gängigen (La)TeX-Foren auch als Stefan_K bekannt und wer nicht neu in der “Szene” ist kennt ihn sicherlich schon. Da ich daher wusste, dass er sich wirklich auskennt, war das Buch für mich eine Pflichtlektüre.
    In nur zwei Tagen habe ich es gelesen und bin außerordentlich überrascht – und zwar positiv. Das Buch nennt sich “Beginner’s Guide”

  6. /edit:

    oops. I accidentally also posted a part of it in German. That wasn’t on purpose. ;)

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