4TeX for Windows manual

4TeX for Windows cover (cover designed by Siep Kroonenberg)

The complete manual to 4TeX for Windows, written by Wietse Dol and Erik Frambach is available online (not printable, though), on the 4allTeX cdroms (likewise), or as a printed book that you can order online. A list of errata is maintained.


We have tried to write this book in such a way that people who never heard about TeX can learn fast and get the software running. At the same time we know (or hope) that people who are familiar with TeX will also read it. Of course we don't want to bother them with superficial introductions. Therefore we will give recommendations for both types of users which parts to read and/or skip. But let us start with an overview of the contents of this book.

Part I: Getting started with TeX
This part is a general introduction that explains TeX concepts in a nutshell. It also gives recommendations on when and where (not) to use TeX. Finally an overview is given on different ways that are available to TeX users to get support and advice.
Part II: Using 4TeX
This part focusses on how to use the 4TeX program. It start with installation of the software, and it explains all menus, button, and other features that 4TeX supports.
Part III: The technical ins and outs
This part starts with a detailed explanation on how 4TeX's features are implemented, which files are involved and how 4TeX expects them to appear. Details on 4TeX configuration are discussed as well. After that an exhaustive explanation of all Web2c programs that make up the entire TeX system is given.
Part IV: The many roads to TeX
This part explains the ideas of different macro packages for TeX. An introductory course on three such packages is included, as well as a comparison of these three. We will also briefly discuss future developments.
Appendix A
contains a set of tables in which you can quickly look up the meaning of file types that you may run across when using TeX.
Appendix B
contains flowcharts that describe the relations among the files and programs in a TeX system.
Appendix C
lists all the software that you will find on the cdrom. All this software is either freeware or shareware. Freeware is absolutely free of charge: you got it free of charge and you can use it free of charge. You can also distribute it to anyone else, provided that you distribute the whole package without any changes and you don't charge for it. Shareware is somewhat different. You can use/evaluate shareware only for a limited period. If you want to keep using it after the evaluation period, you are required to pay a (usually small) license fee. Distribution of shareware software is usually permitted and encouraged, as long as you don't charge for it and you distribute the software without any change.
Appendix D
lists all electronic documents available on the cdrom. Throughout this book we have marked such references.
Appendix E
contains a glossary of terms used in this book. It also contains a graph of all programs cooperating in a typical TeX system.
Appendix F
is the bibliography. It lists books, articles, online publications, tutorials, etc. that are referenced in this book, or could be interesting to TeX users in general. Items marked are available as electronic documents on the 4allTeX cdrom. See also appendix D.
Appendix G
is the index that can be used to find all major references to important items discussed in this book.

Depending on how familiar you are with TeX, you may choose to skip parts that you think you don't need right away.

If you are a completely new user we recommend that you start with part I and then move on to part II. We recommend that you read at least two chapters of part IV, so that you acquire basic knowledge of the TeX language. You can skip part III, at least for the time being.

If you already know TeX from other environments, it may be sufficient to read part II, which explains how 4TeX works. You may want to read one or two chapters from part IV if you feel that you don't know enough about a certain TeX dialect.

System managers and other people who want to get a deeper understanding of how all this software works will want to read part III. Others should rarely need such detailed information on program syntax, configuration files, etc. Appendices A and B can be helpful, too.

The book is 551 pages thick, and a shortened version of the table of contents looks like this:

Part I: Getting started with TeX
A quick introduction
TeX through the looking glass
Installation of 4TeX
Running TeX
Support for TeX users
Part II: Using 4TeX
The main menu
The output menu
The utilities menu
The options menu
Things to be aware of
Part III: The technical ins and outs
The 4TeX system
The Web2C TeX system
Managing and tuning the installation
Part IV: The many roads to TeX
What we mean by TeX
Plain TeX: Knuth's approach
LaTeX: Lamport's approach
ConTeXt: Hagen's approach
File types
Overview of software
Electronic documents on the CDrom

The book was published by the Dutch language oriented TeX Users Group NTG, first printed June 1999. ISBN 90-76669-01-5. 240 x 175 mm, 552 pages. Printed in the Netherlands.

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Nederlandstalige TeX Gebruikersgroep
E-mail: ntg@ntg.nl

Last modified: 28 July 1999