There are plenty of good questions and answers on TeX.SE. It's likely that each person has their favorites. Wouldn't it be nice for this site, and others among other (not all) SE to have somewhat of a crash course for beginners and intermediates indicating a series of posts?

Some recommendations point out to read some excellent books, such as Knuth's or The Not So Short Introduction to LaTeX2. But what can one read directly from the site in a pragmatic one by one case? I think that focusing on online resources, and on building a positive possible path is unique in what I'm asking. My question is similar to another similar one that got a negative response. The problem with that, in my opinion, is that it remains as if one said to all new-comers:

—no, the maze has no map or compass of any kind.

...just go one step at a time kiddo, then all will come together

I believe that this may be true. However, it remains dark and frightening for those who see an exagerated steep way ahead. There shouldn't be a necessary and mysterious moment of glory that comes like magic whenever it wants to pop up. Learning comes by steps but you should be able to follow paths, even when every choice to where, when and how much to advance is a personal one. Even the comments on the post recommend it to be continued.

Another answer seems a good abc for learning TeX, just a little short, and more for using the site, and not as much about using TeX and a progression on it.

  • 1
    This question mixed in with some answers is so good, well written, and interesting that I had to upvote. I hope that it does not get closed as a duplicate of tex.stackexchange.com/questions/11/…
    – A Feldman
    Apr 16, 2016 at 17:53
  • Thanks @AFeldman, actually you might be right. I first had thought of my question as a whole new one, not exactly equal to the previous. However, with your comment I think that it may perhaps fit better as an answer of the question you point out to. Maybe I should delete this post and put it again as answer of the other? What´d you think? Also, maybe all together could fit best at tex, not at meta… Like this very very complete one: Often referenced questions
    – nilon
    Apr 16, 2016 at 21:48
  • I wish I knew the answer to what is right. However, I do not think that deleting the question is necessarily what to do. I flagged it for moderator attention.
    – A Feldman
    Apr 16, 2016 at 22:34

1 Answer 1


A basic, and maybe extended, abc could go something like this:

5) write a book! Fill your files with content. This will take 99% of your time

Of course many people could edit here, and remove and/or add tons of stuff, and be a really dynamic post. Maybe I'm missing something because I'm somewhat new too, but I still think it could be awesome. Though, not sure if it could appear in meta or directly in TeX.

You're a pro already? Good that you can work using LaTeX

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    You mention TeX all the time, but the links show LaTeX stuff. Also, the list is very specific, many users won't ever need pandoc. Though some may need glossaries and others need an index. For me, question and answer are too broad.
    – Johannes_B
    Apr 17, 2016 at 10:21
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    a nice online abc for begineers is Install <TeXLive,MikTeX>, install <some editor>, copy/paste internet
    – percusse
    Apr 17, 2016 at 11:56
  • @percusse: you´re right but that´s a very very broad answer.
    – nilon
    Apr 17, 2016 at 14:59
  • @Johannes_B: I agree on TeX, but there´s not a LaTeX SE site, right? Also, I know there´s a difference but not clear on which it is, could you please show me? And again, you´re right that question and answer are broad, but even if we modify them, I believe that both are necessary: please feel free to edit.
    – nilon
    Apr 17, 2016 at 15:02
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    TeX.SX handles mostly LaTeX, (plain)TeX or ConTeXt are quite rare.
    – Johannes_B
    Apr 17, 2016 at 15:19
  • @Johannes_B: I noticed that some agreed on your comment. I then changed some LaTeX mentioning, also removed pandoc. However, you pointed out that the list is very specific, while also stating that question and answer are too broad. For you and others: what other changes could improve both question and answer?
    – nilon
    Apr 17, 2016 at 23:40
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    "beware of the infinite progression of design with no content" -> so true! (especially if you're PhD student, fiddling with the layout is a tricky but very efficient way to procrastinate ! -- just like checking TeX.SX)
    – ebosi
    Apr 18, 2016 at 10:13
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    Surely This will take 99% of your time should be This should take 99% of your time.?
    – cfr
    Apr 19, 2016 at 1:12

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