LaTeX! I could wax philosophical about its usefulness and superiority as a typesetting tool for technical documents for hours — vectorized fonts and figures, style files, reference formatting, typesetting of equations, automatic section numbering, labels, etc. But, seeing as the subject has been covered far more eloquently by others in websites such as The beauty of LaTeX and Word Processors: Stupid and Inefficient :), I'll leave that to people who have more time on their hands than I do. For those of you unfamiliar with the program, see the LaTeX home page as well as the TeX users group.
LaTeX has fell out of active development for a number of years, but has recently picked up steam with TeX Live. TeX Live is an easy way to get up and running with the TeX document production system. It provides a comprehensive TeX system with binaries for most flavors of Unix, including GNU/Linux, and also Windows. It includes all the major TeX-related programs, macro packages, and fonts that are free software, including support for many languages around the world.
To install TeX Live, use yum:
~> sudo yum install texlive*Seeing how there is around 45 packages and 250 MB to download, it may take some time to install everything. Once finished, install xterm so that we can configure LaTeX with texconfig:
~> sudo yum -y install xtermScroll over to the new xterm window that just popped up, and make sure that the bash realizes that it actually is using "xterm" and not a "linux" terminal:
~> xterm &
~> xterm &
~> export TERM=xtermNext, verify that the TERM variable was set correctly:
~> echo $TERMYou should see an immediate return of "xterm". With the terminal variable set correctly, launch texconfig using sudo:
~> sudo texconfigYou should see a message about how the "interactive texconfig utility will be started now." Hit Enter to continue.
Scroll down to the PAPER option, and hit Enter. Then scroll down and select the LETTER option to set the default paper to a standard U.S. size. Once set, hit Enter to continue.
We need to do the same thing for dvips, which converts the generated device independent file (.dvi) into postscript after latex'ing it. So scroll down to DVIPS and hit Enter. Select the DEST option, hit Enter, and hit Enter again (and again). This will disable dvips from immediately printing to the printer (which is pretty annoying), and will force it to print to a postscript file by default. Then select the PAPER option and choose letterSize paper. Hit Enter to continue, RETURN back to the main menu, and EXIT. Close out the xterm, and we're done!
The Fedora repository offers a number of add-on programs to TeTeX/LaTeX, some of which are very useful as document creation utilities. If you wish to install them use yum to do so:
~> sudo yum install tex* tetex* bib2html bibexport BibTool klatexformula latex* lyx openoffice.org-ooolatex openoffice.org-writer2latex TeXmacs writer2latex xdvik xdvipdfmxPress 'y' when prompted to install the programs and any additional dependencies.
I have a local ~/lib/tex and ~/lib/bibtex directory to store localized LaTeX style files. To include the directories in your path, including the /usr/share/texmf base directory, edit your ~/.bashrc file and add the following:
export TEXINPUTS=/usr/share/texmf:~/lib/tex:~/lib/bibtex:Save and exit. Finally, source your ~/.bashrc file:
~> source ~/.bashrcYou are now ready to launch any of the above programs.