REVIEW - The LaTeX Companions - Basic, Advanced, Graphics, Web


The LaTeX Companions

Basic, Advanced, Graphics, Web


Leslie Lamport, Michel Goossens, Frank Mittelbach, Sebastian Rahtz, Alexander Samarin


Addison-Wesley Professional (2002)




Francis Glassborow


October 2002



Sometimes the items that cross my desk are somewhat difficult to review. This item is a case in point. It consists of four books on Latex that can be purchased as separate volumes. The books are:

Latex: A Document Preparation System 2ed by Lamport

The Latex Companion by Goosens, Mittelbach& Samarin

The Latex Graphics Companion by Goosens, Rahtz& Mittenbach

The Latex Web Companion by Goosens and Rahtz

Now if you do not have any of those the cost of the combined package is a definite saving, but if you have any one of them you are almost certainly better off buying the missing ones as separate items. But if you do not have any of them (the first in particular) why would you be spending a lot of money unless you were already committed to using Latex in which case what documentation have you been using till now? And so we go round in circles. I think Addison-Wesley needs to go back to the drawing board with these package deals (They have one for C++ which includes two books aimed at beginners, Accelerated C++ and Essential C++ _ surely either one would be enough together with Modern C++ Design . I cannot imagine anyone who has just read either of the first two being anywhere near ready for the latter). Offering the three Companion volumes as a package makes sense but the Lamport book or its equivalent will already be on the bookshelf of anyone using Latex.

Anyway, you will note that I am not saying much about the individual books. That is because each one does what its title suggests. If you are a heavy user of Latex and you feel like spoiling yourself with all new copies then go for it. If you are used to using Latex at work, and want your own home references then this might be for you.Non-Computing?

Book cover image courtesy of Open Library.

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