[tex-live] basic help

Harald Hanche-Olsen hanche at math.ntnu.no
Mon Mar 19 08:49:41 CET 2007

+ "Tim Calkins" <tcalkins at gmail.com>:

| This may not be the most appropriate place to post, but it's the
| best place that I could think of on short notice.

No, it isn't, given that this is a list dedicated to a specific
package of TeX and related files.  The newsgroup comp.text.tex is
probably the best place for general queries.

| I'm starting to write .cls files, and I can't find any documentation
| on the basic commands that I might use.

Since you're asking here, you probably have TeX Live.  So you should
try to run:  texdoc clsguide

There is tons of LaTeX related docs in the same place where that is
found.  To find the location run:  texdoc -l clsguide

Of course, the book "LaTeX Companion" should contain all you need and

| I would love to know if there is a tutorial or guide to using
| switches, \if \else \fi statements, page styles, macros, and so on.

For \if \else \fi you should look for plain TeX documentation:
Knuth's book "TeX the program" is indispensible for would be TeX
hackers, as is Victor Eijkhout’s "TeX by Topic" at

That said, you can probably do quite a bit of class file hacking
without knowing much plain TeX.

If you have further questions, please direct them to comp.text.tex.

- Harald

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