Seeking great examples of book design in LaTeX
September 18, 2008 8:24 PM   Subscribe

I am teaching myself typesetting with LaTeX. I learn best by example and so I'm looking for some great examples to follow — especially if they're based on the Memoir class. Ideally, I'd love to find some (public domain) classic literature that stands out as a great study in syntax, style and design. What do you recommend?
posted by tomwheeler to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I'd download one of the Project Gutenberg ASCII texts from the Internet Archive and try marking it up. I don't know about straight memoirs, but they probably have 'em. Or you could just typeset the first chapter of Oliver Twist.
posted by zippy at 8:29 PM on September 18, 2008

Response by poster: zippy: I'm really looking for examples that are already marked up, so I can see what they did and study the sources to learn how they did it.
posted by tomwheeler at 8:39 PM on September 18, 2008

Have you taken a look at the memoir manual? It's really a lovely piece of documentation and has lots of tips, and after you read it in pdf (memman.pdf), you can download its source file (memman.tex) and look under the hood, so to speak.
posted by tractorfeed at 9:36 PM on September 18, 2008 [4 favorites]

Far from the field you're looking for, but David MacKay provides the LaTeX source for his book. I think it's pretty well laid out.
posted by Coventry at 4:47 AM on September 19, 2008 [2 favorites]

I second the memoir manual; the documentation for the pgf class is also pretty great (though very diagram oriented). Aside from package documentation and books about latex, though, most people working with latex don't really seem to release their source unless they have to (some journals/publishers ask for it). With respect to typesetting literature, the only latex stuff I've ever seen was automatically generated from GutenMark, so it might be useful to look at what it does.
posted by advil at 5:49 AM on September 19, 2008

Would you like the source to my ex's master's thesis? We too started off with the fantastic memoir class.

What are you typesetting?
posted by stereo at 6:41 AM on September 19, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks for the answers so far. I have looked at the Memoir Manual and am seeking more of the same so I can compare them.

stereo: At the moment, I am just trying to learn about LaTeX as it relates to book design. There are lots of examples of articles and dissertations in the wild, but few books. And there are even fewer which use Memoir. Memoir seems the way to go, but aside from the manual, I'm not really finding an other examples. The source for you ex's master's thesis would be helpful if it's no trouble.
posted by tomwheeler at 6:59 AM on September 19, 2008

Would you consider using Lyx instead of LaTeX? Lyx has all the power and beauty of LaTex (it's sort of a front end for LaTeX) without having to learn the markup.

I would say that 99% of the functionality that I've ever needed (wrote a dissertation and a few papers) is built into LyX, but the great thing is that when you need that extra 1%, you can drop in LaTeX code seamlessly. Personally, I prefer not having to use LaTeX 99% of the time.
posted by achmorrison at 12:42 PM on September 19, 2008

Response by poster: achmorrison: I am using Lyx a little already, but I actually want to learn LaTeX. There are things you can do in LaTeX but not in Lyx (at least without inserting LaTeX code), so Lyx can't help me with that last 1%.
posted by tomwheeler at 7:12 AM on September 20, 2008

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