[texhax] Do any college courses exist in TeX?

Henry Law news at lawshouse.org
Tue Jun 23 10:53:55 CEST 2015

On 22/06/15 20:58, resolvent at comcast.net wrote:
> we can never organize & memorize the massive number of commands

John, I sympathise with your analysis of the problem: memorising all the 
commands is hard.  That's true of a huge number of languages, though: 
most programmers use only a subset of the structures that their language 
provides.  It's a bit like a painter: there are hundreds of different 
pigments available, but as she practices and gets experience a painter 
will settle on quite a small pallette of "her" colours, the ones that 
enable her to do what she wants.  And then, occasionally, when she has a 
need for something specific (flower painters have this problem) she'll 
go to the catalogue, or the artists' store, and get it.

So it is with Tex; if you start with a simple document that someone else 
wrote, with just headings, paragraphs, bullet points, a bit of 
emphasising and maybe a mathematical formula and an image, and then 
bodge that around, modifying bits and repeating bits, you'll find that 
the amount of Tex or LaTeX that you need to /remember/ is very small, 
and the rest you can look up.

Keep a window open to whatever reference suits your way of thinking (I'm 
a LaTeX user and I personally like 
http://www.giss.nasa.gov/tools/latex/ltx-2.html ) and alt-tab to it when 
you need to.  Don't forget that you can open different bits of your 
reference in tabs in the same browser window, a bit like when you have a 
couple of fingers in the pages of a (paper) book you're reading.

Good luck; and don't forget to ask here if you get stuck.  We (at least 
I) like to help!


Henry Law            Manchester, England

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