19th TEX Users Group Conference TUG '98
Toruń, 17-20 August 1998
Tutorial 1

Actually Making An Electronic Document

Speaker: Hans Hagen

Course Rationale

Nowadays many documents are not only distributed on paper, but also on electronic media. Due to different characteristics of paper and screen, not only in visual appearance but also in accessibility, both demand their own way of typesetting. TeX has proven to be versatile enough for paper and electronic documents. In this small course we will focus on the later category.

Instead of repeating myself in presentations, this time I want to actually let attendants build their own document. The definite form of the course will depend on the input provided on forehand by those who attend. During the conference I will attend some more advanced topics in presentations.

Learning Objectives

This course has some rather ambitious objectives formulated. Time will learn if we manage to realize them all. For the sake of formulating, I will talk of students.

Student Profile

The student must be familiar with TeX as typesetting tool but no specific TeX programming experience is needed. We will use a rather straightforward and fast production cycle, using only an editor, TeX and a viewer.

Course Organization

From these objectives one can deduce that we are going to build documents and in doing so we're going to use TeX disguised as ConTeXt. One does not need to have much fantasy to conclude that we cannot realize this in one session, and thereby the organizational committee of TUG98 has decided to give me more time. Those who attend this course, are also invited to the two other ones. I favor this because making screen documents has a lot to do with design and graphics, the main topics of the two other cources. For the moment the following course activities apply: During the conference the student can work on his or her document. Intermediate group sessions can be planned. During day -1 and day +1 the participants are free to attend the other tutorials to get inspiration on design and graphics. Students will receive some documentation in advance.

During this course, we have available 14 modern personal computers in a networking configuration. The default OS will be W95, but please let us know if you prefer Linux. Depending on the numbers of attendants and the specific wishes, we can work in groups or alone. We will use pdfTeX to produce the output and the Acrobat and GhostView viewing tools as well as dvi viewers.

There will be members of the ConTeXt task force to assist and answer questions. We will use latest release of this package, which offers complete PDF functionality, including Fill-in Fields and JavaScript support. You can work with the Dutch, German or English (and whatever is ready that moment) user interface (although for the sake of the course English is probably best; please let me know).

Questions To Answer

Because I want to be as practical as possible and indeed let the people go home with a working product, I would like those who are interested to answer some questions. During the course we will use (of course when possible) the default ConTeXt functionality, which in itself is flexible enough. When the input data demands specific macros, I would like to know in advance.

Preparations Needed

If we want to accomplish our objectives, some preparation is needed. Actually we expect the attendants to: When using graphics, please check if they are accepted by pdfTeX (png, jpg, metapost, pdf; eps can be converted to pdf and tif to png). In case of doubt, contact me. For the sake of simplicity, we will use either the computer modern fonts and ams symbol set or the default postscript fonts. If someone has other needs, we have to meet them in advance.

One will probably need things not described in the beginners manual. Don't despair, because this manual only describes a small portion of ConTeXt. I hope to have at least the reference chapters on interaction translated into English at the conference.

If you have questions, please ask them in advance. I can be reached at:

Hans Hagen: pragma@pi.net, pragma@wxs.nl or ntg-context@ntg.nl.

More information on ConTeXt as well as examples can be downloaded from:

Dutch TeX Users Group: www.ntg.nl/context