It is not obvious from the tag name that as about books about TeX and is about creating books with TeX. Accordingly, is frequently misused.

Should we rename to something more descriptive? One possibility is , but that would make it strange for questions about books about, e.g., MetaFont. Maybe ?

To make matters more complicated, we also have .

3 Answers 3


When I noticed the ambiguity of the tag, I created the tag for the sake of clarity. Further I talked about that in the tag wiki. I think that's sufficient, at least if we would correct a misused tag from time to time.

is just a fine tag for books about TeX, LaTeX and related software, brief and concise.

I think is good to refer for general documentation, most notably electronic documentation such as package manuals, not as good for real books which might be distinguished.


How about renaming to ?

I would also add a synonym from to , but that's because I can't see much difference between the two.


It's all very confusing, admittedly. I think we can remove in favour of (there are only 10 questions marked with , and those can be retagged painlessly a few at a time in the course of several days), and keep the rest as they are.

The tag is applied somewhat inconsistently currently, I'd imagine it to be mostly about package documents (hah!) that describe in detail provided commands, available options, behaviour and implementation details, most likely including source code.

Examples: float package, TikZ-pgf manual.

is a good tag for any sort of higher-level user guide to a certain broader topic (e.g. typesetting mathematics, a TeX-derivative, or general introductory material), without describing every package, tool and command under the sun.

Examples: The TeX Book, The Not So Short Introduction to LaTeX, or ConTeXt, an excursion.

  • The manuals tag is not a good replacement for books at all -- books is about books sold in physical form which you can hold in your hands, like The TeXbook, The METAFONTbook, or The LaTeX Companion. I would expect things in {manuals} to be potentially updated far more often, without regard to changes in pagination, though of course the aforementioned books would not exactly be out of place there (they are, after all, still manuals).
    – SamB
    Feb 9, 2011 at 1:50
  • @SamB: Do we really need to make that distinction? I have both an electronic and a physical copy of the LaTeX Companion, and use both. Besides, you can always print your electronic document and it will become a "book" (see the LaTeX book on Wikibooks for example). I am somewhat inclined to agree about the out-of-date bit, but then we have to set an (arbitrary) distinction between frequently and less frequently updated stuff. Some LaTeX packages haven't been updated for years, but are still widely used. Feb 9, 2011 at 6:38
  • I wasn't so much talking about the books getting outdated as I was talking about the online manuals having (potentially) unstable page numbers, actually ;-).
    – SamB
    Feb 9, 2011 at 21:14

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