Product Author Bios
Donald E. Knuth is known throughout the world for his pioneering work on algorithms and programming techniques, for his invention of the Tex and Metafont systems for computer typesetting, and for his prolific and influential writing. Professor Emeritus of The Art of Computer Programming at Stanford University, he currently devotes full time to the completion of these fascicles and the seven volumes to which they belong.
Here is the definitive guide to the use of TeX, written by the system's creator, Donald E. Knuth.
TeX represents the state of the art in computer typesetting. It is particularly valuable where the document, article, or book to be produced contains a lot of mathematics, and where the user is concerned about typographic quality. TeX software offers both writers and publishers the opportunity to produce technical text of all kinds, in an attractive form, with the speed and efficiency of a computer system.
Novice and expert users alike will gain from The TeXbook the level of information they seek. Knuth warns newcomers away from the more difficult areas, while he entices experienced users with new challenges. The novice need not learn much about TeX to prepare a simple manuscript with it. But for the preparation of more complex documents, The TeXbook contains all the detail required.
Knuth's familiar wit, and illustrations specially drawn by Duane Bibby, add a light touch to an unusually readable software manual.
The TeXbook is the first in a five-volume series on Computers and Typesetting, all authored by Knuth.
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
Brilliant, but weak as a reference,
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This review is from: The TeXbook (Spiral-bound)I bought the TeXbook two years ago, but finally spent a few days reading it cover to cover -- and I am impressed. As many others, I started exploring plain TeX because I wanted more from LaTeX. I was surprised to find how simple and, yes, *elegant* TeX is in comparison. I guess TeX is to LaTeX as C is to C++. Certainly do not buy this book if you just want to use LaTeX!
The writing is superb, full of fine detail and more than a few clever jokes. Why can't recent books about modern systems be so delightful? Maybe David Pogue's Missing Manual series comes close, but the topics are not quite as technical.
As a reference, the TeXbook is weak because each command or concept is scattered across so many places: one introductory chapter, one summary chapter, in exercises, in "dangerous bend" passages, and so on. I believe the book is best organized for front to back reading, although probably in two or three passes if you include the dangerous bends. For reference, I... Read more
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
If you use TeX, this is the one indispensable reference.,
By A Customer
This review is from: The TeXbook (Spiral-bound)While I have to give this book a 10, it is only fair to mention that there are many who find it impossible to read. Knuth wrote three books simultaneously: a guide to TeX for the nontechnical (typesetters, academic department secretaries), for the technical (computer scientists, mathematicians), and for the expert (Knuth himself).
II you are coming to this book for the first time, follow Knuth's advice and ignore the "dangerous bends."
Knuth is one of the world's leading computer scientists and TeX is his most famous program. It is extremely rare for a programmer at Knuth's level to write the documentation -- and rarer still for him to succeed.
However, after you've read this book, and before you decide that you know everything there is to know about design and typography, please read "The Elements of Typographic Style" by Robert Bringhurst
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The TeXbook (Spiral-bound)I'm feeling kind of stupid that I spent time reading other books about TeX. I assumed that this one would be incomprehensible, but nothing is further from the truth. It's readable, yet precise. The exercises are helpful. The jokes really are funny, and not distracting. It's amazing that computer science's most brilliant mind is also it's most brilliant writer (that I have run across, anyway).
I agree with the one reviewer that the organzation is imperfect. But, I can't say I've found a book about TeX that does a better job.
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