[OS X TeX] More basic questions

cormullion cormullion at mac.com
Sun Jan 30 15:24:47 EST 2005

Could someone spare a few moments to help clear up some confusion? I’ve been reading TEX-related material for a few days, and a few areas remain occluded. (If this is the wrong list, please send me to a more suitable one!)

1 Is LATEX built on top of TEX to the extent that you can use both TEX and LATEX instructions together? The documents I’ve read tend to assume one or the other - I’ve not seen them mixed - at least, I wouldn’t know whether I have or not.

2 Is there any ‘installed’ documentation or reference material that is ‘part of’ the installation? I’m happy to Google things but wonder whether there’s something closer to home that’s part of the install.

3 How do I know which packages I have? I don’t know my way around TEX-related directories too well at present.

4 All the commands that people use in their various examples appear to exist in the same namespace. How can you tell which commands come from which packages? Eg, if I see a command “\makebox”, how do I know what package or system it’s part of?

5 I’ve noticed that in TeXShop it makes sense to put a line at the beginning (eg %&program=xelatex). This doesn’t seem to be very standard, since it rarely appears in the examples I see (which fail for various reasons). Is it a documented standard?

6 How easy is it to change - say - the book class in Latex so that:
    - the title matter is left-justified rather than centred
    - all fonts are - say - Times Roman and Helvetica
    - all headings are Helvetica 
    - section and subsection headings are _not_ numbered, but chapters are?
Making some or all of these changes would allow me to produce documents in TEX that conform well to the existing standards I follow.

many thanks if you can help with some of these (no doubt naive) questions.

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