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The PreTeXt Guide

Preface Preface


This part is the place to begin if you are new to PreTeXt. Chapter 1 is the introduction, overview, and philosophy. Then Chapter 2 intends to get you started quickly by showing how to set up a PreTeXt authoring environment and converting a document to HTML and output formats. Notice that there are three parts which target different roles: the Author’s Guide (Part II), the Publisher’s Guide (Part IV) and the Developer’s Guide (Part V).

Author’s Guide.

This guide will help you author a PreTeXt document. So it serves as a description of the PreTeXt XML vocabulary, along with the mechanics of creating the source and common output formats. Chapter 3 is meant to be a short overview of the majority of PreTeXt’s features, which can be skimmed to get a sense of PreTeXt’s capabilities. Or it can be read quickly as you begin authoring and you can return as you need certain features. The roughly parallel Chapter 4 is much more comprehensive and is the first place to go for details not addressed in the overview. Note that the Author’s Guide is not concerned with publishing your document, which is described in the Publisher’s Guide.

Basic Reference.

This part provides a quick overview of the minimal syntax for a variety of key PreTeXt features. Unlike the sample article, which is designed to demonstrate and stress test all aspects of PreTeXt, this guide will illustrate only the key elements of some of the most universally-used features of the language. In many cases, in addition to features not discussed, there may be alternative structures that are not given here.

Publisher’s Guide.

Even if you intend to distribute your document with an open license, and you are both author and publisher, it is still helpful and instructive to understand, and separate, the two different steps and roles. So visit this part of the Guide to learn how you can present, distribute, and maintain what you have authored.

Developer’s Guide.

This part provides advice, suggestions, and conventions for contributing to PreTeXt. For anything not answered here please use the pretext-dev
Google Group. Make a membership request and it will be processed quickly.


In addition to the usual items you might expect in the back matter, such as an open license, glossary, references, and an index, there are numerous more specialized additions, mostly describing the installation of, or effective use of, various technical tools that are independent of PreTeXt (but useful or necessary).