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### Text Editing and Processing

The basic GNU/Linux editor is vi (vee eye). It doesn't use many system resources and most commands are one or two characters, but conversely the command interface is not intuitive. It's a good idea to learn vi, simply because you'll need it if you have to do rescue work on your system. The biggest and most powerful text editor is emacs. Emacs has an extensive tutorial built in. For help in emacs, type control-h (the control key and letter h, not the word control h''). There are several graphical editors, including kedit, knotes, kemacs. Each of these editors is started at a command prompt by typing its name.

Camera-quality typesetting is available with the teTEX package, an implementation of the typesetting program TEX with which this note was written. TEX is the de facto standard for mathematical and scientific publication (the purpose for which it was designed), but is easy to use even for plain text. TEX is a mark-up language, which means typographical effects are obtained by inserting appropriate commands into an input file, then processing the file with TEX . Here is the barest TEX tutorial:

1. Create a plain text file with a text editor. Text may be typed exactly as on a typewriter; a new paragraph is begun by including a blank line. Extra spaces are no problem, but conversely you can't format text on the page by using tab stops. Certain characters (#, \$, %, and & are common ones) have special meaning for TEX , and must be preceded by a backslash. The file must end with the string \end. Save the file with the extension .tex.
2. If the file created in step 1 is called source.tex, then you type tex source to run TEX . After a few brief messages, you should discover that the output has been written in source.dvi (the extension stands for device independent'') and the runtime messages are written in source.log.
3. You can preview'' the dvi file with the program xdvi; type xdvi source.dvi & at a shell prompt. If you have properly configured a printer, you can print the file by typing lpr source.dvi.
Font changes and accented characters are easy to get. There are good printed manuals on TEX and the friendlier package LATEX . There are programs to convert .dvi files to PostScript or Adobe PDF formats, and there is an excellent previewer ( gv) for PostScript and PDF files.

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hwang
2001-10-31